Gymnastics games can be more than just a fun way to spend a weekend afternoon; they can also help improve skills such as creativity, problem solving, cooperation, concentration, communication and abstract thinking. In addition, gymnastics games can be an entertaining way to get exercise and improve motor skills without even realizing it.
Duck Duck Goose Somersaults
All players sit in a circle facing each other. Pick one player to be “It.” The person who is “It” must walk around the perimeter of the circle, touching the back of each player’s head while saying “duck.” When “It” touches a player and says “goose” the “goose” must stand up and chase “It” completely around the circle while “It” tries to steal the “goose’s” spot. However, unlike the traditional game, players have to somersault around the circle rather than run. If “It” is tagged, he must pick a goose again.
Paper Dance Game
Assign one player to be the DJ. Hand each player a full sheet of newspaper. When the DJ starts the music, all players must dance on the newspaper without touching the floor beyond it. The DJ can call out specific moves such as jumping or twirling. If you touch the floor, you must exit the game. Each time the music stops, players must fold the sheet of paper in half. Continue folding and eliminating players until only one player is left.
Swing Set Gymnastics
The book “The Complete Idiot's Guide to Family Games” suggests turning your backyard into a gymnastics competition. Have players take turns doing cartwheels, swinging across monkey bars or swing-set rings, doing handstands or improvising a floor dance routine on the grass. You can also have players roll down a hill, or lay down a jump rope and have each player walk across it. Assign awards to each player, such as ice cream or homemade Olympic medals.
Position a 2-by-4 board flat on the ground. Players take turns walking barefoot across the "balance beam," holding a book on their head. If they successfully make it across, they must hold a book in their right hand as well as the book on their head as they cross. If they make it over the balance beam without dropping anything or falling off, add another book to their left hand. All players who master the balance beam receive a prize.
- "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Family Games"; BookEnds; 2002
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