Kids have an incurable case of restless leg syndrome, all over their bodies. Sitting in one place for too long is sometimes nearly impossible. Give them an adult-led, organized outlet for all that pent-up energy with active games. Get everyone moving and teach them the fun of exercise in a fun, competitive environment.
If you are going to set kids lose to get active and moving, they are going to need lots of room. Take the kids outdoors whenever possible to give them enough space. Backyards give limited space to keep kids safe. If you are out in a field or open meadow, section off some space with cones to keep your kids in line. Courts and sports fields provide instant enclosure.
Active games are welcome any place groups of kids gather. Classrooms and care centers use group games to keep everyone entertained. If you are hosting a party or are watching a friend’s kids, host some group games to keep everyone together and to burn off some energy.
Some games, such as tug of war, require two teams of equal numbers. When you break the group into teams, make sure the ages and the abilities of the kids are evenly distributed. Kids tend to stick with their peers, but you may need to break them up if you need equal teams. Other games, such as hide and seek, set one child against the rest of the kids. Draw names from a hat or other random choosing method to decide who will lead the game. The winner of that game or another random choice should be the next leader.
With a little creativity, group games can reflect a specific theme of a party or lesson plan. If you are focused on ocean life, assign a sea-related name to each team. Sharks can chase minnows or crabs can play against lobsters. If kids are searching for an item, it can match your theme. Pirates seek treasures while princesses seek jewelry.
If you need a seat or designated area for each child, look for small bags or little pieces of fabric. For an item to search for or run after, use brightly colored fabric or a small painted cardboard box. Use yellow or other bright colors for balls that can be seen easily by all the kids and the referees.
- joy in the meadow image by Cherry-Merry from Fotolia.com