Students wished and sang “Happy Birthday” to me in and out of classes. To celebrate, I planned some balloon games and had a pseudo birthday party with the students. I enjoyed sharing my birthday with them.
In creative movement with the Zebras and Seals, and in martial arts with the Labs, I planned balloon activities. With upbeat music playing, our goal was to keep the balloons floating in the air and not touching the floor. I started with one balloon, tossing it around in a circle so that each student had a chance to hit/tap the balloon to another friend. Because of the lightness of a balloon, they floated in any direction and gave student time to track it and then to hit it. The balloon size gives students a large surface area to hit.
With the Zebras and Seals, I had students pair off and hit/toss the balloon to each other. Several of them worked hard to share the balloon with a peer. Some of them were not ready for sharing and had teacher assistance to guide them to toss to a friend instead of playing by themselves. V. Seals was afraid of the balloons popping and did not want to touch them. I brought out my bubble bottle and he blew bubbles. That added a fun element to the floating balloons!
In the Labs class, we played one game with hands only and a second with legs only. In the arms only game, the balloon was only allowed to be held for a few seconds before it had to be in the air. In the legs only game, students were not allowed to use their hands, forcing them to work on their kicks. The balloons could stay on the ground when they were kicked. If they used their hands, they had to wait 15 seconds on the side before they could join the game again.
All the students worked on their hand eye coordination, gross motor skills, tracking skills, and following game directions to keep the balloons in the air. They had lots of fun while celebrating my birthday!