Twist It Up!

home drawn Twist board Remember the game Twister® by Hasboro?  The object was to put a foot or hand on a colored circle that was called out by the person holding the spinner. Nobody realized at the time it was great for balance and isometric contractions of muscles. If you have the game, dust it off and play it together! If you don’t, create one indoors with masking tape, or outside with chalk. Put masking tape on the floor in four rows of four, pick four colors to color the tape, and you’re done. I didn’t have masking tape the day we made ours, so my 4-year-old daughter just wrote the word “red” in red marker on four squares and taped them to the floor.  (You can see this is a fitness blog, NOT one about art!)  The best part of creating your own game is you get to create a spinner and new challenges.  If you are making a spinner, add in jumping jack or squat jump challenges to the mix just for fun (5 jumping jacks, then go back to holding the position you were in.) Everyone has to play the new parts you’ve added, so everyone does 5 push-ups, etc. and then everyone takes turns “spinning” per usual.  When adding new activities, include a “free choice” spot, you never know what your child will do. My kids liked to run around the room, hop on one foot and jump like crazy as a “free choice”.  They loved that I had to do it too.  As long as children know their colors, they can play. Once they know their right from their left, add that into the game. Invite teenagers to play with a blind fold on (they will love it!), grandparents to play along (they’ll know the game and reminisce) and kids of different ages to play since they’ll be good at different aspects of the game. Since my kids are so small, we moved the colors closer so they could reach them all. They were able to play the game, but it actually made it harder for me, which they found hilarious. Don’t be surprised if you feel new muscles the next day! Also, be ready to make more spinner boards with different variations as your kids get older, more creative and understand how to play.