Holidays and exercise go together well. Movement doesn’t have to be complex. Simple games can start you moving, and changing them in small ways can make them feel new again. How?
-Instead of Simon Says, play Santa Claus Says or Judah Maccabee Says – “jump 20 times as high as you can.” Make the directions big motor movements that are continuous and have everyone do them at once. Smaller movements are fine too, but add balance challenges, like touch your head while standing on one foot.
-Reindeer, Reindeer, Rudolph or Happy, Happy, Chanukah can be played instead of Duck, Duck, Goose. However, do not just sit in a circle! For a slower paced game, everyone holds a plank position in a circle while the “tagger” lunges around the circle. For a faster, speedier game, everyone does jumping jacks or squats while the “tagger” jogs around the circle.
-Instead of “What time is it, Mr. Wolf/Fox?”, try “What time is it Mr. Snowman?” Again, make the movements big. Rather than “it is three o’clock, take one step forward”, try “it is three o’clock, do three push-ups.” Alternatively, do clock lunges for each time called and play for a set time frame rather than moving forward.
-While “Red Light, Green Light” (the game) are also Christmas colors, shout “holiday lights” and everyone has to do something wild and crazy. If you are Jewish, play Blue Lights, White Lights and yell “Menorah lights” to get everyone to stop and dance the Horah. With “green/blue” lights, make the movements huge, or just sprint. At a “red/white light”, freeze and hold a squat or lunge.
-Similar to above, play “Santa/Judah Maccabee May I take three sideways jumps?” rather than “Mother May I?”
-Play tag but yell out a holiday word to to stay “safe.”
-Tie the land of the silly walks together with holiday decorations. Go for a walk around your neighborhood. Every time you get to a house with lights, change the way you travel to the next house. Running, sprinting, jogging, skipping, hopping, and jumping are a good place to start.
I’m room parent in my daughter’s classroom. Guess what we’re all playing during part her class holiday party next week?