Need help now?

Physical activities with little kids

Discussion forum for parents in Australia

Physical activities with little kids

Active scribe

Physical activities with little kids

When I am playing a game with my Kindergartne, games that involves height, weight, strength, or knowledge, my poor kid is at a major disadvantage when she plays with me. Most of the time I try to bring myself down to her level as best I can.

but I still always end up winning when I play with small kids. So how can I adapt the following activities to where the kid and adult are on a 100% even level (without grown-ups faking).

Relay race
monkey in the middle
Competitive activity

as far as The physical activities, I’m talking about backyard things. In every single activity I do with an elementary school age child, I have an advantage, I am bigger, stronger, faster, heavier, and smarter then A kindergartners.

I have tried to adapt these activities, but I just can’t seem to find very many things that are successful. For example, in basketball/football, I am stronger than the kids. I can throw the ball much further. I also tower over them. I can easily keep the ball from them.

another example is when we have little relay races With the kiddos, my legs are the size of their entire body, I can easily win the race without even trying, partly because my legs are longer, but I can also run much faster.

In monkey in the middle, I Control the entire game, I am taller than the kids, even when I’m on my knees, my arms are significantly longer

and in competitive activities, they just don’t have a chance, I am much faster than the kids, I’m also much smarter, and depending on what the competitive activity is, I have a major height, weight, or strength advantage.

I really do try and dumb everything down so that the little kids can at least have somewhat of a chance, but I just find myself winning even when I’m trying to even the playing field.

Do y’all have any advice so we can all go out and have some fun?
Super contributor

Re: Physical activities with little kids

Hi @Parent-of-a-few,

Thanks for your question. There isn't a right or wrong answer here and it is great that you are trying to think creatively about how to engage with children. As you mentioned, as an adult, you will mostly have an advantage in each game. One suggestion is to take yourself out of the competitive nature of the activity. For example, with a relay race, if you only have one child then they could race to make a certain time, or complete a number of laps in a certain time. Another example would be trying to get a collective amount of goals in football rather than playing against each other.

We hope this helps!
Active scribe

Re: Physical activities with little kids

Thank you. But what about playing monkey in the middle and Basketball with my little children. I I am much taller, faster, and stronger and all my kids. They are all in lower level elementary. How do I dumb these down to their level?
Prolific scribe

Re: Physical activities with little kids

Message contains a hyperlink

Hi @Parent-of-a-few , it can be really tricky to facilitate competitive group activities or sports with young children in a way that gives them a chance without it appearing as though you're 'letting them win'. 

One useful trick can be to give the kids an advantage - whether it's giving them a few extra second before you're allowed to defend them, or giving them a head start in timed games. If you're keen to play a game like basketball without simply allowing your kids to win, you might consider giving them more points for a goal (e.g. Mum/Dad gets 1 point for a goal, kids get 3 points for a goal). 

It might also be useful to consider what you're trying to achieve when playing these games. If you're looking for your kids to become physically active, toning down your natural abilities as an adult might be worth the reward. If you're looking to foster some healthy competition and hone your children's skills at different sports, you could tailor when you 'let them win' to the skills they've shown - if they've tried a new tactic or approach, letting them score a point can give them some positive reinforcement and reassurance that they're learning. 

As Taylor mentioned, the likelihood is that as an adult, you're going to win these games if you play to the best of your ability, but keeping in mind what you'd like your child to get out of the experience may help you to go easier on them.

If you'd like some more ideas around how to be physically active with your kids, the Raising Children Network has some great resources on fitness for young kids and how to get them involved in sports. 

Active scribe

**bleep** in the middle with kiddos

How can I play monkey in the middle 100% affair with my children?

This lady been wanting to play monkey in the middle with me. But the issue is, tower over the kids in height. I can make it literally impossible for any child to get the ball,

If I am the monkey in the middle, then the kids will have a difficult time tossing the ball out of my reach. And if the kiddos are the monkey in the middle, then I have to pretend and fake everything

How do you play monkey in the middle when the poor little monkeys were at a major height disadvantage?
Super contributor

Re: **bleep** in the middle with kiddos

Hi @Parent-of-a-few,

I noticed that you made a similar post elsewhere on our forums so I moved it to this thread as we do not allow duplicate posts. I am not sure if you saw Portia's reply but she made some great suggestions and shared a resource above. Please feel welcome to let us know how you go Smiley Happy

Moderator Hours

This forum is moderated from

09:00AM to 5:00PM Mon - Fri

We are not a counselling or crisis service and we can't guarantee you'll get a reply, so if you need to talk now

Click here for help

The current time is Wed, 6:08 AM
(Australian Eastern time)