Parents often ask me: How can I take the Jump skills and encourage my children to keep practicing them at home?
Although I don’t encourage building a ball pit in your living room or installing a trampoline along your hallway… there are some simple (and safe!) activities and games you can do at home.
I suggest taking a simple movement that your child can do independently- like walking or jumping. And then add what we call ‘super challenges’ as a way to encourage your child to explore this movement skill.
For example, walking can be modified by going backwards, stepping over bean bags (or spoons or rolled up socks or magazines or…), doing it to music, carrying a ball above the head, clapping at the same time, taking small steps or large steps, adding a pattern (step, step, kick, step, step, kick), placing your feet wide or narrow, on your tippy toes… the list could go on and on.
Ask your child questions to get them to try new ways of movement:
Great walking! Do you thing you can walk and clap at the same time? Can you walk teeny tiny like a mouse? How about huge and heavy like an elephant? Can you step over the books? Can you walk backwards?
Whenever possible, once children have mastered the basic movements encourage them to create their own challenges:
Can you show me a fancy way to walk? Can you use words to describe what you are doing? Can you teach your sister your special walk?
There are an infinite number of ways that you can modify basic movement skills to make them new and challenging for young children. It is the mastery of these skills- along with the confidence that comes from challenging themselves- that builds physical literacy.
Have fun- and I would love to hear what movements your child creates!