It can be difficult to encourage girls to go outside to play. The lure of video games, computers, movies and dolls can keep young ladies in the house instead of outdoors where they can get fresh air and exercise. Introduce your daughter to games you used to play as a child -- join her and her friends if necessary to teach them the simple moves and all the rules.
Hopscotch is a classic game that can be played anywhere with a concrete or asphalt surface, a few tossing stones and a piece of colored chalk. Alternate an approximately 12-inch block drawing of one square and then attach two squares. Add one square and then two more. Repeat two or three more times. Begin play by tossing a small pebble across the surface of the squares -- that is the one spot the player must skip when hopping across the chalk diagram. The pebble must not fall outside of the diagram or on a line or the player loses a turn. The object its to skip within the lines of the boxes -- on foot for the single square and two for the double square -- until reaching the end of the chalk course.
Sticker tag is a variation of classic tag. One individual starts off as the pursuer. She runs with a piece of duct tape or other heavy adhesive sticker in her hand. The first person she tags with the tape is then next pursuer. The game continues until one person remains untagged -- she is the tag queen for the day. Use different colored stickers for the occasion such as orange for Halloween, red for Christmas, a birthday girl's favorite color.
Jump Rope Competitions
Nothing will get a young girl's blood moving faster than a competitive jump rope match. See who can jump rope the longest or manage the most criss-crosses in a row. If there are several girls available, team up into groups of three and have one girl from each team jumping at a time between the two other girls holding the ends of the rope. Time each session, total each of the three girls' times and the team with the longest combined times wins. Use classic jump rope rhymes during practices and fun sessions to make the activity more fun and enjoyable.
Hula Hoop Contests
Begin by giving each girl her own hula hoop. When the whistle blows, the children will start swinging and swaying to see who can keep her hoop moving around and around the longest. If there are not enough hoops to go around, use a timer or watch with a second hand to see who can twirl the longest. Hula-hooping was an activity introduced in 1958 by the Wham-O company's Hula Hoop. The Hula Hoop and its generic versions and knock-offs are available in a variety of colors, styles and sizes. Some glow in the dark while others are weighted with ball bearings to assist with balance.
- Sarah Vantassel/Demand Media