Fun movement skill games

Below are three fun games you can play with children that will assist them to develop different movement skills like catching and jumping.

Remember - being active should be about having fun so get ready to praise and encourage children.

Balloon Volleyball - to help with throwing and catching skills

Equipment:
  • Balloon
  • String
  • Two chairs

How to play:

  • Create a volley ball net with a string tied between two chairs.
  • Blow up a balloon.
  • Divide players into two teams and allocate a side of the string to each team.
  • On "Go" the teams tap the balloon back and forth aiming to keep the balloon off the floor or the walls.
  • Two balloons used at once provide great action.
  • For older children scores can be recorded when one side fails to control a balloon and allows it to touch the floor or desk or wall.

Ideas for playing alone or with an adult:

  • Time trials - how long can your child keep tapping the balloon before it hits the ground.
  • Balloon targets - set up washing baskets or targets on a wall for your child to test their skills.
  • Bat and balloon - use a rolled up newspaper or wooden spoon as a bat.

Crocodile - to help with the jumping skill

How to play:

  • Designate a space as a 'river' and select a child to be the 'crocodile' who sits in the river.
  • The remaining players stand on one side of the river and chant "crocodile, crocodile can we cross your river, if not, why not, what's your favourite colour?"
  • The crocodile responds with a colour.
  • If a child is wearing that colour they can show it to the crocodile and cross the river safely. If a child is not wearing that colour, they wait for the crocodile to say 'go' and they have to try and cross the river without being tagged.
  • The first person tagged becomes the new 'crocodile'.

Ideas for playing alone or with an adult:

  • Set up a river bed using masking tape on the floor or chalk on concrete, making the river narrow at some points and wide at others. Encourage your child to see how far they can jump at different points of the river.

Card war - to help with hopping and running skills

Equipment:

  • A pack of playing cards

How to play:

  • Each child has 3-4 playing cards.
  • In a room or the backyard children walk or run around until an adult calls out "card war'.
  • On this signal, children face the person closest to them and fan their cards.
  • Each child selects a card from the person they are facing and the highest card picked wins.
  • The loser must perform a challenge – hop on each leg 10 times, hop backwards for 5 seconds, hop around in a circle for 5 seconds.
  • Once this challenge has been completed the game begins again.

Ideas for playing alone or with an adult:

  • Suit challenge - ask your child to come up with a movement for each suit in the pack of cards. For example, a hop for a club, a star jump for a spade. Have them select a card at random and perform the movement the number of times the card states, for example, a 9 of clubs would mean 9 hops.