According to the United States Department of Health and Human Services publication, Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, youth ages 6 to 17 years of age should be doing a minimum of 60 minutes (1 hour) or more of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity a day. Physical activity helps strengthen our body and our mind. It makes us feel good and enables us to grow and build resiliency.
So how do we encourage physical activity when we gather as Cloverbuds? Here are a few different ideas that you can use both in-person and virtually.
Obstacle courses are an age-old way to get kids moving. All you need are objects such as furniture, cones, cushions, hula hoops, etc. Create a start and a finish by making lines on the ground with tape or a rope. Then create different elements of the course like weaving through cones, jumping over cushions, or doing 10 jumping jacks.
Let the Cloverbuds help you create the obstacle course. Have them decide what they want to do or what they want to use (of course you should give them some direction and make sure it is safe).
If you are meeting virtually, you could give them ten to fifteen minutes to make their own obstacle course in their homes. Time them to see how long it takes them to complete the course they created.
If you are struggling to come up with a course, you can use this one for inspiration or type “Obstacle Course for kids” into Google or YouTube.
Dancing is a great way to do physical activity and there are many ways to do it. If you have been blessed with the skill, feel free to just put on some music and dance freestyle. Others might need a little more help leading dance time.
One way to teach dances is by using one of the popular video dance games. They can be played on almost any gaming device. You can also search dances on YouTube and play them on a screen for kids to follow along with.
Other great sources on YouTube are Kidz Bop and Learning Station. All of these channels and sources are kid and 4-H friendly but you should review the videos for content ahead of time.
Playing games that get Cloverbuds up and moving can be a fun way to keep them physically active.
Sharks and Minnows: This game requires no equipment. Cloverbuds stand on one side of the room touching the wall. They then try to run and touch the wall on the opposite side of the room. One Cloverbud (the shark) chases the rest of the group (the minnows) and tries to tag them before they can touch the wall. If you are tagged, you can either become a shark or seaweed. If they are sharks, they can run around too and help tag youth or seaweed must stand still and try to tag people as they run by. Keep having them run back and forth from wall to wall until one kid is left. Then they can be the first shark in the next game.