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Exercising With a Partner

This activity has been revised and was originally created by Charlotte Cushman and published in the Perkins Activity and Resource Guide (1st edition, 1992).

Staying healthy is a lifelong goal. To that end, it’s important to encourage children to incorporate exercise into their daily routine. This activity works on health and fitness while helping children to develop leisure skills. As an added benefit, they will practice working cooperatively with a partner. Lessons include Adapted Physical Education, Recreation and Leisure, and Social Skills.

Materials

None required, although a stopwatch can be used in some of the activities

Procedure

Set aside a specific time at least one or two days a week to be “exercise time.” Many exercises lend themselves extremely well to participation in small groups or with partners.

  • Have the children take turns counting repetitions for their partners’ exercises, such as toe touching, jumping jacks, push-ups, etc.
  • Have the children hold their partners’ ankles gently, but firmly, for sit-ups.
  • Take turns holding partners’ legs for wheelbarrows. This works best if one person has vision.
  • Time partners with a stopwatch while they run around the track, etc.
  • Run laps with partners. This works best if a child with some vision runs with a child who is totally blind.
  • Try races which require partners (e.g. three-legged races, relay races).

Variations

  • Children can be divided into teams to compete.
  • If your child receives physiotherapy, check with the physical therapist to find out what specific exercises would be most beneficial to your child.
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