With cold weather approaching, it can be difficult to keep kids entertained and active indoors. There have been blog posts on the importance of encouraging physical activity in children of all ages, but what can be done during the rainy months ahead? Would you believe that masking tape can provide at least a temporary solution?
If you don’t mind adhering some tape to the walls, floor, or furniture, masking or painter’s tape can open up a whole new world of indoor activities. By placing tape on the floors, a parent can create hopscotch and balance beams. Tape can also create targets for throwing as well as stick balls to make indoor darts. Masking tape can even become the borders of a race track. Add in colored painter’s tape and you can create a whole new playland for young kids.
Here’s list of ideas that all use masking tape, while encouraging physical activity, balance, and coordination:
- Indoor hopscotch: Create indoor hopscotch by placing tape on carpet or hard floor. Encourage two footed and one footed jumping, changing directions and creating custom courses.
- Race car track: Creating “streets” on the floor encourages crawling and squatting. By having the race track go up stairs or onto furniture, kids can practice climbing. Making lots of turns in the race track provides opportunities for rotation and weight shifting.
- Bull’s eyes or targets for throwing: Make a bull’s eye on cupboards or on the floor for balls and bean bags, to practice throwing. You can also make targets of different shapes and sizes to work on coordination and accuracy. Create a game by making each target worth points or by creating a tic-tac-toe board on the floor.
- Balance beam: Use masking tap to create a balance beam or “tightrope” to practice walking in a straight line. Be creative – since it’s on the floor, kids can practice walking on tip-toes, walking backwards or skipping, without fear of falling off. Different colors can be used to make different kinds of lines – squiggles, zig zags, and swirls. Each type of line will challenge balance in a different way.
- Start and finish lines: A simple strip of tape can provide a starting point for obstacle courses, animal walks, and seeing how far one can jump forward.
- Make balls with the sticky side out and throw them at a target on a wall.
- Be creative: Sometimes the best toy to a child can seem so simple to an adult – let them use their imagination and see what they come up with!
Here are some links to website/blogs that illustrate the activities above:
Beyond the Clinic’s physical and occupational therapists can address any concerns that you might have about a child’s abilities to participate in the activities talked about above, as well as help provide suggestions for age appropriate activities.
Contact us at (503) 496-0385 for any questions or concerns!
(Blog post provided courtesy of Crystal Bridges, DPT)