By Jacalyn Slingerland
Play to Learn Facilitator
Let’s get moving! Simon says is a great activity to make physical activity fun. During this activity we can practice our fine motor skills and counting. For older children, we can discuss terms for exercise. Parents should choose exercises that coincide with their child’s abilities.
“Simon says” is a basic game anyone can enjoy. The rules we will set for this activity will be:
When the leader (Simon) commands the group starting with the phrase “Simon says…” the task should be completed to the best of the participant’s ability. When the leader does not start the command with the phrase “Simon says…” the action should not be completed. If the participants start the action anyway, they can answer a question or do an exercise to join in the game again (such as 3 pushups, jumping jacks, name a healthy snack etc.).
A great way to start an exercise would be dynamic stretching. Examples for dynamic stretching are: lunges, butt-kicks, straight leg walk, inch-worm, bear-walks, leap frog jumps, skips, arm windmills, wrist windmills, and chicken arm windmills. Use whatever examples you want and add in your own too!
Once you’re warmed up, you can add basic exercises. Pushups, jumping-jacks, burpees, v-sits, superman, squats, jogging in place, jumping, dancing, ect. Keep in mind that this game is very open ended. If there is movement, and everyone is having fun, the goal is met.
End your workout with a cool down. Focus on slow movements that will help lower everyone’s heart rate. Shrinking down and touching your toes, growing tall and reaching for the sky, trunk twists, and walking are great examples of cool downs. Finish with static stretching like toe touches, arm stretches, pike stretches, scrunching your toes and fingers, ect.
Simon says stay safe and have fun while you exercise!
Dynamic stretching: stretching involving movement.
Static stretching: stretching a muscle slowly for a certain period of time. (recommended time is 30 seconds)
Cardio exercise: an exercise that raises your heart rate.
Strength exercise: an exercise that is designed to increase your strength.