Liz Morrison, LCSW
Halloween Fitness Games for Kids
With Halloween fast approaching, parents and children are spending time thinking about the typical associations to the holiday. These may include dressing up in costume, trick-or-treating, and gathering as much candy as they possibly can. One topic that does not often get associated with this holiday is fitness. Bonita Porte, Owner of Energetic Juniors, recently shared with me some fun Halloween games created by Energetic Juniors Fitness Coach Michael Shipper. Michael is an Ace certified trainer and Youth Fitness Specialist.
I hope these fun Halloween games get your child moving and in the spirit of the holiday.
Bats in a Cave
This is a spin on the well-known game Pin the Tail on the Donkey. During the game the children should each be given 5 “bats.” These can be beanbags or small stuffed animals, which they need to run and place in a pop-up soccer net or laundry basket (also known as the bat cave. They then are told that they need to complete this task in less than one minute. If they don't get all the bats in the cave they need to perform an exercise of the adult’s choosing such as jumping jacks or push-ups. The number of jumping jacks or push-ups is determined by how many bats did not make it into the cave.
Overall, this is a game of speed, endurance, and fine motor skills. Engaging fine motor skills involves the use of the smaller muscles of the hands such as when doing up buttons, opening lunch boxes, or using pencils or scissors. Fine motor skill efficiency significantly influences the quality of the task outcome as well as the speed of task performance. Efficient fine motor skills require a number of independent skills working together to appropriately manipulate the object or perform the task.
Here is an example of how it can work.
Round #1: They place 10 of 15 bats in the cave = 5 push-ups
Round #2: They place 12 of 15 bats in the cave = 3 jumping jacks
Round #3: They place 11 of 15 bats in the cave = 4 jumping jacks
Round #4: They place13 of 15 bats in the cave = 2 push-ups
Round #5: They place all 15 bats in the cave.
Be creative and have fun.
Trick or Treat
Have a trick or treat pumpkin basket filled with index cards with different exercises on them. Have your child run to the basket and pick out a card/game to play. You and your children can come up with different movements/exercises (Ex. jumping, sit-ups, push-ups, bear crawls etc.) The game continues until you are all out of cards.
The most important part of this game is that they are having fun while doing activities that require mobility, balance, power, strength, and endurance.
Spider Man Jumps (Cone Jumps)
Set up two cones or any kind of safe marker approximately 5 feet apart. The object is to jump back and forth between the cones ten times. The goal is that your child will be hopping back and forth between the cones like Spider-Man.
Jumping is an excellent cardio and plyometric exercise. It helps to build explosiveness and speed, and it works on elements of acceleration (take off phase) and deceleration (landing phase).
Have a safe and enjoyable Halloween!
For more information about Energetic Juniors, please contact Bonita@energeticjuniors.com or call 212-879-1566.
Also, check out their website at www.EnergeticJuniors.com.