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.
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About 400 fourth graders played the FitBall Activity during Get Fit Day in October. At the end of the day, each classroom received their own FitBall to utilize at school since it is a fun way to include a physical activity break. #NebraskaExtension #UNLFoodFitness #Nebraska4H
- 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
*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.