Got Pumpkin Plates? How to Teach Social Distancing Using Pumpkin Plates
Social Distancing Using Pumpkin Plates
As we live with the COVID virus, we’ve all been taking proper measures to be safe each time we leave our homes. One guideline that we have been following is social distancing. I came up with a FUN activity to teach your child social distancing while learning how to move and interact with our surroundings.
- Spatial awareness
- Social distancing
- Learning locomotor skills
- You Will Need:
- Paper pumpkin plates
- 18 cutout feet (9 pairs). Divide the feet into 3 groups. Number each group 1 – 6 (outline your child’s feet)
- Measuring tape
- Double sided tape to hold the plates and feet down if it is windy
Place pumpkin plates on the floor/ground using tape in a triangular fashion measuring 6 feet from each other. Place 6 of the feet using double-sided tape in numerical order (1-6) between each pumpkin plate. This will show the participant that social distancing requires us to stay 6 feet away from one another.
How to Play
Have two participants each stand on a pumpkin plate. Explain to them that they are socially distant from one another (far away from one another as to not spread any disease). While standing on their pumpkin, show them the numbered feet. Each foot represents a foot in length. Ideally, it’s important to maintain at least 6 feet between all individuals. Have the children move in the following manner:
- Stand BEHIND a pumpkin plate. In order to teach your child this concept, ask them to make sure their toes are looking at (pointing towards) the plate.
- Walk AROUND the outside of the three pumpkins as they follow the direction that the feet are going. When the parent signals to stop, the participants stand ON TOP of the pumpkin plate. The participants are not allowed to share a plate. Notice and reinforce how they are 6 feet from one another. Repeat several times.
- Repeat step one but have the child jog/run AROUND the outside of the three pumpkins. On the parent’s signal, the child stops and again stands ON TOP of the closest pumpkin plate. Repeat several times.
What is Being Learned?
- Learning how the body moves with the ability to be aware of objects in space and the body’s position in relation to them.
- Learning the fundamental movement skills will help improve their coordination as well as develop sequential movements.
- Learning how far they must be in order to stay safe from others who may be sick = social distancing
- Play music of choice when the children walk and run. Stop movement when the music stops.
- Depending on the level of ability, challenge the child to jump, gallop, and skip around the pumpkins.
- Substitute the pumpkin plate for a white paper plate and allow the child to make a design on it.
- Ask the child to vocalize or use sign language, if possible, the spatial awareness concept as he/she is executing the skill.
- If a child uses a mobile device, move over the pumpkin plate and stop when the rear wheels are in front of the pumpkin.
- Use larger plates or a decorative pumpkin design making sure the color is different from the surface.
- Substitute chalk for the feet and place numbers 1-6 on the ground between the plates measuring 6 feet from plate to plate.
- Assist your child as related to their ability level.
Elizabeth O’Hara is the owner of Gymsters, a physical education program for all children with a concentration on the special needs population. Executive Board Member to plan the construction of our local all-inclusive playground, Adapted Physical Education Teacher, tutor, and volleyball coach. Mother of 3 beautiful children, a grandmother of 3 precious toddlers and married to a loving husband, Dave. Available for consultation. Email: email@example.com
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This post originally appeared on our September/October 2020 Magazine