Learn how to make your own FitBall for a quick physical activity break! #UNLFoodFitness #Nebraska4H
Do you need a quick physical activity break or game to help make fitness fun for youth? I created a fitness activity, which I call FitBall, to help incorporate physical activity breaks during my middle school summer nutrition program. A three-five minute physical activity break helps everyone get moving and energized while providing a quick “brain break” that helps students stay focused on learning. Middle school and elementary students enjoy playing this fitness activity.
Similar to hot potato, Fitball is a fun activity that can be used as a physical activity break or game for youth.
- FitBall (learn how to make one)
- Music on a device (I like to use Spotify* or Pandora* on my iPad)
- Speakers (I like to use a Bluetooth Speaker to connect with my iPad)
- DJ – in charge of starting/stopping the music during the game
- Participants arrange themselves in a circle.
- DJ starts the music and participants will hand or toss the beach ball from one person to the next while the music is playing.
- DJ will randomly stop the music.
- The person left holding the FitBall when the music stops will pick the fitness activity that is closest to their right thumb.
- The group will complete the chosen fitness activity, but make sure everyone has the appropriate space before starting the activity.
- Return to your group circle and continue playing the game as time allows.
- If an exercise is chosen that has already been done during that activity, I recommend the participant to pick the closest exercise that has not been completed.
- Participants will be tempted to hit the ball like a volleyball and may cause the activity to become louder due to students getting excited. If you would like a calmer game, instruct students that they cannot hit the ball.
- Beach Ball, approximately 12 inch*
- Permanent Marker
- List of Fitness Activities
- Air up beach ball.
- Using a permanent marker and the list of fitness activities below, write 3-4 fitness activities per color panel on a 12-inch beach ball.
List of Fitness Activities
Modify or change exercises as needed, but I would recommend including at least 3 exercises per panel.
- Yellow Panel
- 5 Squats
- 10 Toes Touches
- 10 Arm Circles (Backward)
- Orange Panel
- Run in Place for 10 counts
- 5 push-ups
- Stork Stand (Hold each leg for 5 counts)
- 5 Side to Side Jumps
- Green Panel
- 5 jumping jacks
- 10 sit-ups
- Butterfly Sit (Hold for 10 counts)
- White Panel
- Straddle Sit (Left, right, center for 5 counts each)
- 10 Lunges (Alternating Legs)
- 10 Shoulder Rolls (Forward 5 times & backward 5 times)
- Red Panel
- 10 Arm Circles (Forward)
- Side Arm Stretch (Hold each arm for 5 counts)
- 5 Forward and Backward Jumps
- Blue Panel
- 5 Jumps to the Sky
- Hop on 1 Foot (5 Hops per foot)
- Upward Arm Stretch (Hold for 10 counts)
- Free version, but will play ads
- Create your own playlists or follow others
- Cannot disable explicit songs, so create your own playlist instead of playing a radio station in order to know the songs are safe to play in educational settings
- See more info at www.spotify.com
- Need song ideas? Check out &/or follow my “Get Fit Day Music for Youth” Spotify playlist that I used for one of my recent events:
- Free version, but will play ads
- Can disable explicit songs
- Under you account, click your email address (or name) in the top right corner and select Settings.
- Under “Explicit content filter” click “No. Do not allow explicit content.“
- Click the Save Changes button when finished.
- Learn how to change the setting for your phone or tablet at http://help.pandora.com/customer/portal/articles/24645-enable-explicit-filter.
- Cannot create your own playlist
- Need playlist ideas for youth? I recommend the following radio stations:
- Today’s Hits Radio
- Today’s Country Radio
- Customize your radio station by clicking “thumbs-up” or “thumbs-down” if you like or dislike a song being played.
- See more info at www.pandora.com
Check out my Pinterest board for more ideas
*Reference to commercial products or trade names is made with the understanding that no discrimination is intended of those not mentioned and no endorsement by University of Nebraska–Lincoln Extension is implied for those mentioned.
Ms. Kayla, this is awesome. I teach nutrition and exercise group classes for adults with T1 or T2 diabetes. Just reusing thru Linked in and I found you. I’ve been an RD for 30+ years. I don’t know everything. There’s always room to learn from others. I’m just so glad that you shared and posted this excellent idea. Now I would have to adjust it to my group setting. My mind is rolling. Thank You.
Hi Frances, I would like to thank you for leaving a comment on my blog post. I think it is an awesome idea to utilize the FitBall in your group setting with appropriate modifications when needed. I’m glad I could help 🙂 Let me know how it turns out for you.
This is a great idea! I’ve been looking for ways to include more physical activity in our 4-H meetings. This is such a wonderful way for the kids to have fun while exercising. Thank you for sharing this idea.
Thanks for commenting Ann! Let me know how the FitBall activity turns out for your 4-H meetings.
Such a fun idea that could be used with small or large groups of kids. Takes the competitive edge off as well.
I totally agree with your comment Suzanne. I have used this activity for a small and large group of kids, and it worked well. Thanks for commenting!
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Thanks for linking back to my blog, and I’m glad to hear your family loves to play FitBall.
Hello – I am a PE teacher always looking for new ideas. I think I will have 5-6 small groups per class each with a ball. This will help give more kids a turn at reading the exercise & less waiting for a turn to catch & pass the ball. Thanks for sharing!
Thanks Dawn for the comment and great idea with breaking the class into smaller groups!
I love this! I lead a bible study class for 3rd/4th graders and we like to break up the evening with a little activity. I’m going out to get a blow up ball tonight!
Thanks! Did you end up playing the game? If so, how did it go?
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I am totally in love. Looks like a fun activity.
Thank you so much! Love this ideas! Teaching a 30 minute Zumba fitness kids class but needed simple, fun and indoor fitness games as well. You have saved me! 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👍😃 thanks!!!
Thanks! I’m glad I could help. I hope the kids enjoy it!
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Kayla,this is awesome. By any chance are you in the Massachusetts area?
Thanks Tina! I’m located in Nebraska.
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