As I know so many of you will bemoan, increasingly our children are becoming more and more passive in their daily activities with lots of time spent in the car driving to and from school, not to mention sitting in front of the TV, computer or Playstation. I am often asked how can I get my children/grandchildren off the computer (not just teenagers either, children as young as kinder age.)
Cast yourself back to your childhood days? What was your favourite outdoor game? Marbles? Hopscotch? Skipping? If we introduce our children to these games they will love them just as we did, childhood is timeless in that sense, it is just a matter of providing the right ingredients.
There is so much more to simple childhood games than meet the eye. Learning how to skip for instance is not only a great way to warm up on a cold winter’s morning, it is also great for fitness, learning how to count, and assists children to develop balance, spatial awareness and co-ordination. In Steiner schools the children skip as part of their morning routine – learning rhymes, maths and rhythm in the process.
Remember the old skipping rhymes? Here are a couple I hear around our house at the moment:
Miss Mary Mack, Mack, Mack
All dressed in black, black, black
With silver buttons, buttons, buttons
All down her back, back, back
She asked her mother, mother, mother
For fifty cents, cents, cents
To see the elephant, elephant, elephant
Jump the fence, fence fence
They jumped so high, high, high
They touched the sky, sky, sky
And didn't come back, back, back
Till the fourth of July, July, July
I'm a little Dutch girl, Dressed in blue.
Here are the things I like to do
Salute to the captain, Bow to the queen,
Turn by back
On the submarine.
I can do the tap dance,
I can do the split
I can do the holka polka
Just like this.
To celebrate the onset of winter we are giving a way three Kinderkram skipping ropes – one to each of three families. Handpainted in Germany they are a really good quality rope – the rope that is well weighted (a light weight plastic rope will not turn properly and make your child frustrated), and we think they are really gorgeous too!!! Sorry, you have to be in Australia to enter.
To enter just share with us (in comments) your favourite schoolyard game.
Winners will be announced on 20th June, just in time for Midwinter.