We recently had a “Trolls” themed birthday party for my two-year-old, and the party planning led me to create the following Roll-a-Troll game to keep my very active toddler, her brother, and their cousins busy and moving all weekend.
The benefits of physical activity for kids, including movement breaks, is undisputed. It’s recommended that children, ages 6-17 years, should get at least 60 minutes of physical activity each day- if not more. Further, evidence suggests that classroom physical activity, such as movement breaks, benefit student’s attention, behavior, and test scores. Check out the CDC’s website for more information.
I’ve found that channeling in on a child’s interests gets he or she motivated to participate in activities much more willingly and for a longer duration of time. If you know any Troll’s fans, I think this movement “game” will be a hit. It certainly was a hit at my house!
I used a 4”x 4” treat box that I on hand and cut pictures from a Trolls magazine to somewhat match my movement ideas. I simply glued a picture on each side of the box, wrote the Troll’s name, and a movement idea.
The six sides included:
- Jump- Princess Poppy
- Dance- Guy Diamond
- Mix a beat- DJ Suki
- Stomp or Hide- Branch
- Run- King Peppy
- Hug Time- Give yourself a big hug (included is a picture of Biggie & Mr. Dinkles)
Alternatives to cutting and gluing Trolls pictures from coloring books or magazine pictures, would be to just use stickers, simply write out the instructions, or even use the free printable chart below to play with dice:
Roll a troll
While this game chart is pretty plain, we decorated one with stickers (which also sneaks in some fine motor practice).
Just let each child take turns rolling the cube or die (whichever version you decide to use) and then ALL of the kids involved do that action for approximately 15-30 seconds (longer or shorter depending on the age and attention ability of the kids), then it’s the next kid’s turn. The actual cube (vs. dice) seems to be more engaging for the younger players.
Overall, it was a HUGE success with the group of kids this weekend, aged 2-7 years. I think this would be a hit for classroom movement breaks as well.
Here’s a little clarification on how we did each movement:
- Jump– pretty straight forward, just JUMP! Both feet, one foot, in place, or forward… no wrong way!
- Dance– any dance moves that kids want to do!
- Mix a beat– reciprocally alternating extending and retracting each arm (like spinning a turn table).
- Stomp or hide– either stomping in place or crouching down into a ball (like you’re hiding). The group of kids that I did this with liked both so they alternated between both!
- Run– depending on the situation, run in place, or all over (my son does laps around the living room, occasionally).
- Hug Time– give yourself a big hug (my kids and nieces hugged each other too).
I also love that motions such as stomping and jumping allow for some great proprioceptive input and all the movement stimulates the vestibular system. Check out my other posts about some of the sensory systems and for more fun, low cost activities that have many, many hidden benefits!
If you try this game, I’d love to hear how it went! Enjoy!
Healthy Schools. Physical Activity Facts. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved 9/19/2017 from https://www.cdc.gov/healthyschools/physicalactivity/facts.htm
Healthy Schools. Classroom. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved 9/19/2017 from https://www.cdc.gov/healthyschools/physicalactivity/classroom-pa.htm
*Disclaimer-The information presented in the blog is intended for information purposes only. Please consult your physician with any medical concerns and/or for medical advice. The information presented is not intended to be used in place of individualized therapy services, please contact your health care team for skilled therapy if you think it is necessary. Please supervise your children (or friends, spouses, etc) if you decide to try any of the activities or ideas presented as the author or this blog does not claim liability for possible injury or negative consequences related to the activities and ideas presented here.
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