OBJECTIVE: Develop cross pattern movements, balance and body awareness, visual and auditory development.
EQUIPMENT: Yoga mat or towel to act as surfboard (optional).
ACTIVITY PREPERATION: If needed, show your child the stance that they should have when standing on their surfboard.
Set the scene
Explain that for this activity, the area that you are using is going to be the ocean and your child is going to be a surfer.
Begin with your Mover & Shaker jogging around the area. Ensure they are moving forwards, backwards and side to side. After a minute or so call out FREEZE. Your child should stop with one foot in front of the other and their arms out. This will almost be the surfing position.
When they are in this position call out TURN and the children change the way they are facing. Call out TURN a few times; then get them to jog; then FREEZE; TURN. Then you can make this really fun by gradually building up the speed (kids love to be tested this way).
The aim now is to introduce different commands for your Mover & Shaker to follow:
“ON YOUR FRONTS” – Child to lie down on their tummies and paddle their “surf board” by moving their arms forward in a controlled co-ordinated cross pattern format (left, right, left, right fashion).
“A BIG WAVE IS COMING” – children paddle whilst you count to five. When you get to five, they are to jump onto their feet quickly and get into the surfing position side on.
“SURFING THE WAVE” – In the standing side on position, children sway from side to side whilst bending and straightening at their knees.
“WATCH YOUR TOES” - Shark is after your toes so stand on one foot and balance (get them to swap balancing foot each time).
“SHARK ATTACK” – Children paddle, catch the wave, get into standing position and then run around the room whilst you use your arms in a big snapping action and try to catch them. When you catch them, give them a good tickle before letting them get back onto their tummies so they can start paddling again.
“WIPEOUT” – Children fall to the floor and roll over.
Use your imagination with this and alternate the commands to make it fun and keep your little person guessing. It should last for 5 – 10 mins maximum and the aim is to keep it high energy and active. Children find this great fun as they like rolling on the floor and doing something different.
For additional fun and to add an auditory element to this exercise, play The Beach Boys song Surfin’ U.S.A