January 25, 2013

Indoor Winter Activities: Masking Tape Games

So, it is ridiculously cold outside right now. Like single-digits-to-teens cold, plus a windchill. And it's snowing. Which is kind of a slap in the face for my daughter, because it's actually too cold to go out and play in the snow. She can just watch longingly from the window as it falls to the ground. And it's been like this all week. So I have a couple of stir-crazy kids who need a little physical activity.

A while back I remember seeing something on Pinterest about "masking tape games." I'm not even sure if I looked at the actual link, or if I just saw a picture on the pin and that was enough to plant the seed in my brain, but when I was a Target earlier in the week I picked up a fresh roll of masking tape and then got to work on some games.

As you can see, I wasn't going for perfection here. Kids usually don't care so much about how straight your lines are or how neatly you tear the tape...they just want to get jumping. So here we go!

Portia showing you the roll of masking tape

The Long Jump

Okay, so, not the best photo ever, but you get the idea. We set up the long jump in the family room. I put down a big piece of tape to mark our starting line-- toes to the line, please! And then had the kids jump as far as they could and I marked their landing spot and recorded name and jump number on the tape so they could see their progress. These were all standing jumps. We then tried ones with a little running start (which the four year old got, not so much with the one year old!). We had so much fun with this. And they thought it was hilarious when I did it (I may have thrown in a few pratfalls for extra laughs).

Hopscotch and Bean Bag Toss

The hopscotch board was a little more labor intensive to bring to fruition, but totally worth the few minutes it took! We hopped all over the place on this one. We actually played hopscotch using some little beanbags we have (I got a set from Lakeshore Learning for the kids for Xmas). And we used the board for a bean bag toss game as well (i.e. Try and toss your beanbag on the 5 square.). Next we'll try some basic math with my four year old (i.e. Toss your two bean bags on two squares that add up to the number five.). My one year old just likes to run across the board as fast as he can. And he really loves for me to hold him and then hop on the numbers...it makes him laugh hysterically!

Balance Beam

Yes, this is a photo of a piece of tape on my rug. I know. But this simple, single piece of tape has been so much fun! We walk the beam, or the tightrope, depending on what imagined world we're playing in...sometimes we practice delicate turns and jumps on the line, sometimes we try not to fall off into the ocean, sometimes we try to dive off into the tiny bucket of water down below. Whatever we can dream up. And, again, it's a big hit when Mommy dramatically falls off into the water and then tries to swim for land (the couch)!

The Box

This might be my favorite of all the masking tape games so far. And I think it's my daughter's favorite too. When I started taping off this rectangle, she asked me what it was. And when I was done, I told her that it's whatever she imagines it to be. I jumped on it and said, "It's an island and I'm stranded at sea." Then she jumped on and said, "It's a surfboard and I'm in the waves." It really can be ANYTHING! Let their imaginations run wild!

Portia surfing the waves
And paddling for shore
It may not seem like much, but a roll of masking tape and a little time has proven to a whole lotta fun for these two kids...and for me! We've put these together over the last few days, and this morning the kids and I spent almost an hour playing around on them together. It's so fun and it burns some energy and uses imagination. That's a win, win, win in my book.

So go get yourself some masking tape and find a little space on the floor and get to taping...and then get to jumping!

Until next time, keep using that imagination!

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