A Kinetic Christmas Day 4

Day 4

Reindeer Reins

FROM RUNNING TO SKIPPING (Approximately 2+ years)


Have you ever noticed kids run whenever they want and nobody thinks twice about it? They don't need to go to buy running gear. They don't need to stretch out first. They don't need ear buds or a pedometer. They run because it feels good. And while they're running, all that speed is giving them a sense of confidence in their own power. Just like a reindeer...

Reindeer Reins is best outdoors, but can easily be converted to a large indoor space if the weather's not cooperating. Fun for two or more kids, or just the two of you.

GET READY: Create chimney tops from paper, wood blocks, or whatever you have at hand. We've also provided a printable if that's easier for you (attached to the bottom of the post.)

Scatter your chimney tops in different locations around the yard.

Take a ribbon or piece of tinsel and wrap it under the child's arms and around his chest. If you have more than one child playing the reindeer, create reins for each and tie them in a knot as a handle for the sleigh driver to hold.

Hand the reins to the sleigh driver and they're ready to go.

The goal of each round should be to go as FAST as they can TOGETHER AS A TEAM. And be sure to change roles so that each child has a chance to be the reindeer or the sleigh driver. Start simply, adding complexity as they go. For instance...

COOPERATIVE PLAY. Encourage the kids to run as fast as they can, working together to "steer" towards every chimney top and back to the North Pole.

LEADERSHIP PLAY. Encourage them to decide who will lead the route --either the reindeer or sleigh driver. When they return from their rounds, reverse roles and have the other child lead.

MEMORY ROUND. Have the children map out their route together. When they return, ask them to do it again from memory. When they return, reverse roles, and see if they can repeat the route one more time.

FLYING NUMERACY. Number the chimney tops and have them go in order, 1-2-3, etc. If they're ready for it, have them retrace their steps, 3-2-1 to return to the North Pole.

CHIMNEY COLOURS. Make the chimney tops different colors. Call out the order and have him land on each top in order. See if they can fly in a rainbow pattern too!

Wishing you a happy, healthy, active holiday season!