With a little imagination, and some help from their caregivers, kids can go on incredible adventures without leaving home! They can climb over Pillow Mountain or crawl through Box Cave! The options are endless, so what will you create?
What do you do to start your adventure?
First, make up an adventure story. Maybe you’re saving your child’s favorite toy from an evil wizard or finding pirate treasure. If your child can't think of a story, you could base their adventure obstacle course on a favorite book. Throw a few extra details into the mix to make the story more fun. What can you “build” to help your kids pretend? Let your kids help decide what kinds of obstacles to include as part of their adventure story. Here are some things we love to use if you need some inspiration:
- Climb over a mountain that’s made of a pile of pillows, or maybe they’re climbing over a sleeping dragon instead.
- Make a tunnel or cave to crawl through using a table (with a blanket over it). You can also use a large, empty box open at both ends.
- Do they have a forest in their adventure? Chairs can become trees! Set up chairs in a row and run back and forth between the chairs. Or maybe the chairs are an army of guards they have to sneak around.
- Put some hula hoops on the floor. Pretend the hoops are stones they need to use to cross the river, or jump from one hula hoop to another and pretend you’re jumping on floating clouds.
- Need a spaceship? Find a big, empty box and climb in to pretend they’re flying! Or if a more grounded transport is preferred, maybe the box is a car or a fire engine.
- Is there a secret passage? Pull furniture away from the wall so they have space to move and crawl on the floor to get through the secret passage.
- Every adventure needs a bridge. Put a line of painter's tape on the floor or stretch out a jump rope in a straight line and tape the ends down. Move across the bridge heel-to-toe, like a tightrope walker. Be careful!
Adjust the difficulty of the adventure obstacle course to suit your child's age. Think about obstacles that can help improve your child's balance and endurance. Set up the obstacle course using furniture and objects you have in your home, and keep in mind that obstacles don't necessarily have to be objects. A painter's tape X on the floor could mark the spot to march in place for 10 steps to pretend climbing a flight of stairs to a tower, for example. If it fits the story or you have a large course, you might want to add tape arrows to the floor to point the way to the next obstacle, like a map. Feel free to change up the location of your obstacle course, too! If it’s a nice day outside, set something up in the yard.
When the scene is set, all your kiddo needs is some imagination! Tell the adventure story as they move from one obstacle to the next.
Once their adventure has come to an end, you can tell them about the importance of all the movements they did. You can discuss how moving is good for their bodies and brains. Moving helps make muscles strong and can make your kids faster. Moving helps them stay healthy. You can also explain what parts of their body they are using as they go through the course. Crawling helps build strong muscles and bones in their arms. Jumping helps build strong muscles and bones in their legs. Moving fast helps their heart. Encouraging them to use their imaginations also helps your kids learn through play!
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