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May 22, 2015

Differentiating Fitness Fun

Differentiating Fitness Fun

*Please note* This blog is intended for campers (ages 3+) but toddler teachers may find some ideas easy to adapt. Toddler teachers are also encouraged to review the toddler-specific differentiation ideas found in the Curriculum Notes.

Continue your student’s ongoing exploration of fitness and healthy habits. Students are developmentally at all different physical gross motor levels. This blog provides ways to extend and differentiate the fitness fun all week long!

Ball Play

Throwing, passing, collaborating, balancing, and excitement are all a key element in ball play.

  •  Keep it up! Utilize a beach ball or a balloon and keep the ball in the air! Extend this activity and make it more difficult by keeping the ball in the air using only your feet.
  • Set up a bowling alley using upcycled water bottles and have a bowling tournament!
  • Towel toss- grab two towels and practice throwing and catching a lightweight ball using only the towel.
  • Through the hoop- if you have hula hoops either lie them on the ground and challenge students to bounce a ball into them or prop it up and challenge them to roll it through.
  • School Age students will enjoy a fast paced game of “Say It” This game can work with 2 or IMG_1120more students. Sit in a circle and call out a category. Before the ball is tossed the thrower must name something from the category.


Providing opportunities for children to run at different developmental levels is important to the overall development of their large gross motor muscles. Utilize these varying Gross Motor activities for the skill level for students in your classroom.

  • Use plastic eggs and have an egg race with students. They can race from one end of the yard to the next holding the egg on a spoon. See how far children can get without dropping the egg.
  • Play the classic “Red Light, Green Light!” younger students will continue to develop the ability to run and abruptly stop.IMG_1212
  • School Age students will enjoy an exciting game of sharks and minnows! Read how
  • Design an age appropriate obstacle course and challenge students to run through as fast as they can.
  • Huckle buckle beanstalk! Select an object to hide and designate a home base where all of the children will meet. One player hides the object while other close their eyes. Then, everyone searches together. When anyone finds it they run to home base shouting “Huckle Buckle Beanstalk!” This continues until everyone has found the object.
  • Lay a few hula hoops on the ground. Hoops are free zones in this game of tag! Students can stand inside the hoop to be safe from IT. However, only one child can be in the hoop at a time. If someone else enters a hoop the child already safe needs to run before they are tagged!


There is a developmental progression of how far and high children of all ages can jump. Provide opportunities for children to work on these skills.

  • Challenge your students to see how far they can jump! Create 5 evenly spaced lines on the sidewalk and number 1-5. Challenge students to stand at the first line and see how far they can jump! Make this into an exciting game with school age students and encourage them to tally up their scores and work towards a number.
  • Set out craft foam “lily pads” about a foot or so apart. Challenge students to hop from lily pad to lily pad without touching the ground. If they go outside the lily pads they must start over! Differentiate this activity and move the lily pads closer or further together to challenge your students.
  • Jump the creek! Have two students hold jump ropes that are about a foot apart. Players take turns trying to jump over the creek! When everyone has jumped once, the foot moves up a little more.
  • Enjoy a clasIMG_1547sic game of hopscotch. Found

Do you have ideas for extending the “Fitness Fun” theme? Add your ideas to the comments section!



Please visit link here to review the fitness fun differentiation blog created last summer.