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Monday, June 17, 2013

Local Park Obstacle Course

Playground via Google Images

We all know of people who are best of friends and each other's worst enemies-right?

However, preschool aged children still need to have stimulation and sometimes an adult intervening in such situations.
A great way to limit these fights, is by creating an activity that gets out their energy, is done together as a team, and most importantly they have fun. When taking to children to the park, and you have boundaries on what areas they can play in, take that entire area and make it into an obstacle course of your own. This requires imagination-no materials once you are already in the park and of course it's free-thats the best part! :)

Here's an example:
Go up the round ladder, down the straight slide, run all way to the steps at the other other end, down the short slide, up the steps, and down the curvy slide (this is the one an adult is standing by). Halfway coming down the slide, give the child an high five or tickle them. Every so often change it up so it becomes unexpected. You can also pretend to pull your hand away as if you don't want the high five, this way the kid will keep doing the obstacle course and trying to get your hand. (If this is what you choose to do, keep a keen eye on the child/ren doing the obstacle course and make it clear you may only get a high five if it is done properly-this may sound strict, much to surprise when it was experimented on children aged 5 they thought it to be really funny!)
Sounds confusing, no? Do it like that the first time because the kids get so confused and for some unknown reason they are amused by it.
Make sure the child/ren understand what they need to do. If not, repeat it with hand motions and change your voice but remember to stay pleasant and calm. You can say it up to three or four times stressing what they should do and EACH time tone changes, kids will laugh.
I did mention that this will limit fights and not END them. If this system is not working, have child/ren start at opposite ends meet in the middle and High five each other before giving you High-five. 
Depending on the child/ren, you need to play the part of high-fiving them. Although you may not seem to be doing much, YOU are there at the end of the course and they believe you are playing with them. It's similar to the light at the end of a tunnel. It's a goal, there are not just running around in circles, with no purpose.
Another advantage is, other children can join in at any time.
Happy coursing!


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