This is a fun and simple activity to use frequently. With upbeat music, get everyone dancing and wiggling freestyle. At various intervals, pause the music. Everyone must freeze in a very silly pose; the sillier the better! After a good laugh, turn the music back on and continue.
Hula Hoop Warm-up
Using hula hoops and some peppy children’s music, direct children through this sequence of movements:
- with the hula hoop on the floor, walk around it, skip around it;
- with a partner, jump in and out of it facing each other and performing “patty cake;
- put one foot in and out;
- with a partner, hold onto hoop and skip in a circle.
Place hoops on the floor in the center of the room. With music, start children marching in a big circle around the hoops. After about 30 seconds, turn off the music. Direct children to find a hoop and jump inside. Ask them jump out again and then remove a couple of hoops. Begin the music again and direct them to skip around the circle. Continue the game, changing the movement each time. No one is eliminated; they just get closer and closer together.
You will need one or two pool noodles for this activity. The parent or caregiver and one child hold the noodle at either end, while the other children move under the noodle. They can walk, crawl, or wriggle under the noodle. They can also jump over it. Try to get the “traffic” flowing in one direction so they don’t bump into each other. Rotate helpers. With large groups you may want to set up more than one limbo noodle.
Scatter enough hula hoops around the room for one for each pair of mom and child. Have everyone skip around the room together until you whistle and call out two body parts, such as “foot and elbow”. Moms and kids find any hula hoop together, and each put their foot and elbow inside of it. This is a great way for children to learn their body parts.
As a cool down and “calm down”, parents/caregivers and kids sit on the floor and act out silly fantasies such as opening arms and legs like an alligator’s jaws and eating up healthy food that kids suggest. Close legs and arms in front as if to gobble up the food. Invent your own scenarios and let the kids give suggestions along the way.