Toddlers and preschoolers enjoy using physical skills such as walking, running, and crawling to play games. This activity encourages children to combine two skills by balancing a bean bag on different body parts as they move.
Begin by making two lines (a “start” line and a “finish” line) on the ground with string or masking tape. For younger children, make the distance between the two lines shorter (5 to 6 feet), and for older children make it longer (10 to 12 feet), as they can run longer distances.
Stand with your child at the starting line. Explain that the goal is to get to the finish line without dropping the bean bag. Show your child how to walk slowly and balance the bean bag on your head. Narrate what you are doing in a playful way, such as “Whoa! I want to keep the bean bag on my head… Oh no, it’s almost falling off! I have to walk slowly and keep my head very still.”
With your child at the starting line, say “Ready, set, go!” Your child can walk while balancing a bean bag on his head, going as slowly as he needs to in order to get to the finish line without dropping the bean bag. After playing this game over and over, encourage the child to walk faster or even run.
Next, your child can try crawling with a bean bag on his back or walking with the bean bag between the knees, under their chin, on the shoulder, etc. Emphasize the names of the different body parts being used to balance the bean bag as well as “position” words and phrases, such as on top of, between, under, etc.