Hey you! You’re amazing already because you work with kids in some way or another. You’re someone they may choose to look up to so setting a good example for them and teaching them about their health is one step in the right direction. Remember those teachers, nannies, or camp counselors who you looked up to for one reason or another? Remember the ones you tried your hardest NOT to be like? It’s your turn now to decide how you can impact these children you’re working with and change (or keep) their view of you.
If you show kids how important living a healthy lifestyle is, they’ll listen to you, but you have to believe it yourself and model it. Maybe you yourself are out of shape and need to change your lifestyle around a bit. Be honest with the kids. Tell them about your struggles with your health and that you want to involve them in the process so when they get to be adults they can be healthy and help others be healthy too!
Here are some games to incorporate throughout the day when you’re working with kids. Just remember a few things. If you play with them, you’re going to make the game ten times more fun AND you’ll get stronger. Also, don’t let the games go for more than 5-8 minutes. And lastly, watch for form and encourage the kids when they start to feel uncomfortable because of how hard exercising is. Tell them to appreciate the discomfort because that’s what is going to build their muscles and make them healthier. Comfort doesn’t strengthen us. They have to be reminded of that often.
Our Power Hour games are intense and exciting! Often, the kids have no idea that they are working out and strengthening their muscles the entire time they’re playing which is the best part! They just become exhausted at the end and all they know is they had fun.
This game is fun because there are OUTS which kids these days don’t always get. Many of our games do not have outs because we want the kids working out the whole time, and when there are OUTS they have things they need to be doing until the game is over like jumping jacks, springs, lunges, etc..
Goal of the game: To not spell out CORE
Game is similar to: HORSE (kind of)
- Everyone is assigned a number
- Everyone has their hands overlapping in the middle of the room or field in a standing position
- Facilitator throws a ball in the air
- As soon as ball is thrown, players lunge-walks in any direction
- Facilitator screams out a number
- The person who is assigned that number must grab the ball.
- When the ball is held, facilitator yells FREEZE – everyone but person with ball drops into plank (high or low)
- Person with the ball (number who was called) can take one big lunge (or more depending on space – your call) toward another player and they must throw the ball and hit the players legs.
- If legs are missed, thrower gets a C
- If legs are hit, the person hit gets a C.
- Continue until winner or just for 10 minutes depending on how many kids there are
- Squat Squat Sprint
Similar to: duck-duck-goose but with exercise
The kids are either sitting or standing in a circle, your choice. Every time the person who is it walks by one of the kids in the circle, they pat their head and say “squat” until they choose someone to sprint, then they say “sprint.” The person chose to sprint needs to do two good quality squats and then they chase the other around the circle TWICE and try to tag him or her. If the person is tagged, they are in the middle doing 10 sit-ups and 10 push ups. The group counts and encourages the person in the middle. If the person being chased doesn’t get tagged, the game continues regularly and the person who was chasing is now “it.”
- Boat Pose Ball Pass
- The kids are sitting in a circle in “boat pose” which engages their core.
- There is about 1 foot between each kid
- One kid starts with a ball (big rubber ball works best)
- The timer gets set for one minute (or two depending on the class)
- When the facilitator says go, everyone comes up into boat pose and the person with the ball uses both hands to place the ball to the side of him or her. After they place the ball down they jump up do a star jump and sit right back down in boat pose. Everyone does this after picking up and setting down the ball.
- The ball is passed around the circle in the same form until the timer goes off.
- The person who started with the ball is counting how many times the ball went around.
- Try to beat the number of times the ball went around.
- 3 times is enough for this game
- Plank Bowling
- Split the group in half – Plankers and Bowlers
- Separate teams by 15 feet in a line facing each other
- One half drops down into HIGH plank
- Second half gets rubber balls
- One kid or the facilitator is standing behind kids in plank retrieving the balls
- When the facilitator says go and puts on a 2 minute timer, the side with the balls gets to “bowl” them between the kids in planks arms.
- If a ball goes through a plankers arms, the planker does two push ups
- If ball misses and doesn’t go between planker’s arms, the bowler does three push ups
- Continue for two minutes and switch
- Muscleman Says
Simiar to: Simon Says
- Same as simon says but with different forms of planks
- Forms of plank: high plank, low plank, side plank, spider man plank, reverse plank, one legged plank,
- Eye and Foot
- Split group into two
- One group holds a squat pose
- One group has one ball
- Group holding the ball each gets one chance to aim at one of the squatting teams feet
- If the ball in thrown and hits a squatter’s foot, the squatter does 5 squat thrusts
- If the balls misses the squatters foot, the thrower does 8 squat thrusts.
- Once everyone on the throwers side has gone, switch and throwers become squatters and squatters become throwers
- One ball in the whole game makes for a lot of anticipation and fun
- To make it more complicated: Throwers are each allowed one fake out and squatters are each allowed one jump to save their foot for the entire game.
- Quick Feet
- The group is standing in a circle
- Each person gets to choose one form of exercise (plank, push up, jumping jacks, lunges, sit ups, burpees, squats, etc..)
- When facilitator says “quick feet” everyone must have quick feet
- Facilitator passes a large die around the circle, each kid gets a chance to roll the die
- When the die lands on a certain number, that kid gets to lead the class in that number of whatever form of exercise he or she chose
- Make an explosion number i.e. 5. Every time the die lands on 5 everyone has to do 5 sprints or 5 burpees (something extra hard).
- Go around the circle once if there are a ton of kids, go around twice or more if there aren’t a lot.
- Builders and Breakers
- Split group into two teams “builders” and “breakers”
- Set up 20 cones, 10 standing, 10 knocked over.
- When the timer goes on for two minutes, the builders need to make sure all the cones are standing and the breakers need to make sure all the cones are knocked over.
- After two minutes, yell freeze!
- Everyone freezes, one kid counts the cones. Team with most cones the way they’re supposed to be wins.
- Winning team gives losing team 10 exercises.