Create jumping paths for children to move their bodies along, by painting footprint patterns on yoga mats!
Kids will jump, twist, and turn as they work on their coordination, core strength, and gross motor skills. Use as many mats as you want, to form jumping paths that can connect to each other in a straight line or zigzag formation.
Simple enough for kids in preschool, and challenging enough for kids in early elementary grades. Serious fun on a yoga mat!
Here are easy-to-follow instructions for making the jumping mats, ideas for jumping games, and a printable footprint stencil.
What you need:
- Yoga mats for painting (1-3, depending on the age and abilities of the children and the amount of space available)
- Printed footprint stencil
- Acrylic paint
- Paint brush
Creating the jumping yoga mats:
- Print out two of the footprint stencil sheets, and cut out the foot pattern.
- Line up the footprints, and tape the two stencils together.
- In fun and twisting patterns, trace the footprints onto the yoga mats. You should be able to fit 4-5 sets of footprints on a 60-inch long yoga mat.
- Paint in all of the footprints. We recommend using white, because it really pops off yoga mats, making the pattern easy to follow. You might need to do two coats.
- Allow the paint to air dry (acrylic paints dry in about an hour), and you are good to go!
- Have all of the children line up at one end, and each of them gets a chance to jump the path. When they finish, have them wait at the end, and then they each jump back. This helps to encourage using both sides of the body equally!
- Theme the jumping! This can be a part of an outer space theme, as kids walk on the moon, winter animals jumping through the snow, or bunnies hopping through a spring garden.
- Allow the kids to set the path. Mats can be in a straight line, zigzag pattern, touching or spaced apart. It’s always fun to see what courses kids come up with and the challenges that they present to themselves!