A few months ago, someone put a Little Free Library at the playground at Fowler Park. It’s the saddest little thing because there are hardly any books in there! So, when my son cleaned out his book shelves at home, I decided we would do something about the poor Library. Today’s workout consisted of doing one exercise for 45 seconds, resting for 15 seconds and EVERY 5 minutes we ran to the pile of books I brought, picked one and ran it to the Little Free Library. By the time we were done working out, the library was looking a lot better and we had gotten in quite a bit of cardio!
Here are the exercises we did in between library runs:
Hop Like a Kangaroo: make large, slow hops forwards.
Jump like a Frog: squat down low and hop around.
Walk Like a Crab: this one is just the crab walk–have them walk forwards and backwards.
Crawl Like a Bear: crawl on all fours.
Caterpillar Butterfly Stretch: this one was my husband’s idea and based off of an exercise he said he did as a kid, so I cannot lay claim to this one; lie down on your stomach like a caterpillar then jump up and make an “x” shape with your body like you’ve emerged a beautiful butterfly! (Yes, it’s a burpee!)
Ants in My Pants: wiggle all around, jump up and down, and try to get those imaginary ants out of your pants; be sure not to do this over an ant hill, or you may end up with real ants in your pants. Yikes!
Toss the Pizza Dough: pretend you are tossing pizza dough up in the air; stretch your arms up high and lift your head to look up and keep an eye on your dough (so it doesn’t land on your head).
Bake a Cake: pretend to open the oven, squatting down as you do it, pretend to place a cake in the oven by stretching your arms out forwards, then pretend to close the oven and stand back up. If remembering to pause and “place the cake in the oven” is an issue, try just reminding them to pause and check on the cake before standing back up
Stir the Batter/Stir the Dough: put both hands in front of you and pretend you are stirring thick dough or batter in a large bowl, swirling your arms in a circle. Get your hips in on the action too by wiggling back and forth or spinning them with the “spoon”! If you can manage it, switch directions so your body gets worked out on both sides.
The Blender (or Washing Machine Twist or Watering the Lawn): twist and shake your torso and arms to the right then to the left.
Apple Pickers: pretend to pick apples from a tree; reach up high with your right hand, then your left, then your right, then your left again.
Sweep the Floor (Or Row, Row, Row a Boat or Rake the Leaves): pretend you are holding a broom then sweep the imaginary dust into a pile and switch to the other arm. Do two sweeps at a time per side. Hint: you can try this with a real broom too…chores!
Move the Laundry: bend over and pretend to pull the laundry from the washing machine, then squat down and push it forward like you’re putting it in the dryer.
Vacuum the Floor: step forward with your right foot and bend a little at the knee while pushing your right arm forward like you’re vacuuming the carpet, then switch and do it with the other side.
Pick Up Toys: bend over and pretend to pick up four toys at your feet first with your right hand, then your left, then your right, then your left, then stand back up.
Wash the Car: this one is similar to “Catch the Football,” but instead of reaching up with your arms, just move one hand in a swirl motion–right hand swirl with left leg out to the side, left hand swirl with right leg out to the side.
Catch the Football: stretch your arms to the right and lift your left leg like you are jumping to catch a football, then switch to the other side–stretch your arms to the left and lift your right leg.
Swing Seats: you will need to do this one sitting in a chair; pretend you are swinging–stretch your arms and legs stretched out far, bend them back in, stretch them out far, bend them back in.
Ride a Bike on the Ceiling: lie down on your back, lift your legs in the air, and pretend you are pedaling a bike; you can do this with your head raised, arms raised, head down, or arms down, whatever is easier for you.
Skip Invisible Rocks: pick up some imaginary rocks then pretend to skip them across a pond; lean in to one side and toss with a sideways motion then switch to the other side and do the same thing.
Scissor Shuffle: we did scissor runs and scissor walks in school, so this is the exact same thing; cross your legs over each other while running or walking sideways, then switch it up and go the other way.
Snorkelers: touch your nose with one hand, raise your other hand over your head, then wiggle and squat down like you are snorkeling; switch sides.
Pitch the Hay (or Shovel the Snow): pretend you are scooping a pitch fork forward to pick up the hay, then sweep your arms backwards to throw it over your shoulder; switch arms and do it again.
Grab a Star: this one is similar to “Apple Pickers,” but here you will want to reach one hand as high as you can, until you “reach the stars,” lifting the opposite leg slightly into the air and standing on your tippy toes on the side with the outstretched arm–right foot tippy toe, right arm stretched high, left leg slightly lifted to the side so you can reach as far as possible; switch sides.
Check Out My Muscles: similar to the actual exercise, “Cherry Pickers,” stretch your arms out to the sides then bend your arms in at the elbow and touch the tops of your shoulders.
This Big!: pretend you are telling the tale of a fish you caught, stretch out your arms as far as you can to the sides and tell them, “It was THIS BIG!”
I Dunnos: shrug your shoulders up and put your arms out a little to the sides, palms up, like you are telling someone, “I dunno.” (My kids love this one.)
Toe Touch: bend over and touch down to your toes for a few seconds then stand back up.
Treadmill Jog: jog in place.
Sit on a Chair: this one they can literally just sit on a chair (it works best with other exercises that include bending down or stretching high) or they can sit on an invisible chair against the wall.
Ankle-B-C’s: sit down on the ground with your arms behind you for support and your knees bent and ankles in the air then pretend to draw the letters of the alphabet with your feet. Alternatively, you can lie down on your back with your arms behind your lower back, lift one leg up slightly and write your ABC’s the best you can, then switch legs and do it the best you can with the other side.