Our Athletes

Let’s Get Active—Gif Edition!

Young Athletes are here to demonstrate some simple activities that will make staying fit a breeze. We will focus on walking and running skills. Not only can these games engage children of all ages, but they also promote the growth of gross motor skills that are essential for the healthy development of all children. Let’s get up and get active!

Run and Carry

Measure out a distance of 10 feet (if space allows) and mark with cones (or stuffed animals). Have children run this distance, pick up an object from the ground and run back to the starting point. When playing with two or more children, they can pass the object to each other after running the distance. With large numbers of children, try relay teams and races.

How to: Measure out a distance of 10 feet (if space allows) and mark with cones (or stuffed animals). Have children run this distance, pick up an object from the ground and run back to the starting point. When playing with two or more children, they can pass the object to each other after running the distance. With large numbers of children, try relay teams and races.

To teach children about healthy foods, use real, plastic or cloth foods as objects in the activity. Ask children to pick up the object and run with it to a set of baskets labeled “healthy” or “unhealthy”. Ask children to categorize the food item. Use the activity to discuss what makes the food item healthy or unhealthy.

Equipment needed: Beanbags and floor markers (cones).

Walk Tall

Measure out a distance of 10 feet (if space allows) and mark with cones. Have children place beanbags on their heads and ask them to stand tall and walk from one floor marker to another. Once children can do this without the beanbag falling, have them jog or run with the same tall posture. Placing a beanbag on a child's head while walking or running encourages good posture and balance.

How to: Measure out a distance of 10 feet (if space allows) and mark with cones. Have children place beanbags on their heads and ask them to stand tall and walk from one floor marker to another. Once children can do this without the beanbag falling, have them jog or run with the same tall posture. Placing a beanbag on a child's head while walking or running encourages good posture and balance.

Equipment needed: Beanbags and floor markers (cones).

Sticky Arms

Create a zigzag course with cones. Have children run through the course with their arms “glued” to their sides. Then have children run the course with their arms up and spread out. Time the children and talk about which way was easier and faster.

How to: Create a zigzag course with cones. Have children run through the course with their arms “glued” to their sides. Then have children run the course with their arms up and spread out. Time the children and talk about which way was easier and faster.

Equipment needed: Cones (option: floor markers, tape or rope)

Obstacle Course

Set up cones, floor markers, hoops and other equipment, and encourage children to walk, crawl, climb, jump or run through and around a series of obstacles. Begin with a straight course with similar activities at each “station” and progress to include a variety of movements, such as, zigzags or reversals.

How to: Set up cones, floor markers, hoops and other equipment, and encourage children to walk, crawl, climb, jump or run through and around a series of obstacles. Begin with a straight course with similar activities at each “station” and progress to include a variety of movements, such as, zigzags or reversals.

Demonstrate different types of running (slow, fast, backwards, and forwards) and incorporate them throughout the obstacle course.

Equipment needed: Cones, floor markers, hoops, dowels

Future Skaters

Encourage children to move around a room without lifting their feet. Have them wear skates made from paper plates.

How to: Encourage children to move around a room without lifting their feet. Have them wear skates made from paper plates.

Skating can be done with music or added to other games.

Equipment needed: Paper plates (option: cardboard cartons cut in half or shoeboxes)

Fire Drill

Ask all but one child to stand in a line. While the children are passing a ball from one end of the line to the other, the one remaining child runs around the line. The child must try to get back to the start before the ball reaches the end. If the child is unsuccessful, give the child another try and make the passing more difficult by passing behind the back or between the legs.

How to: Ask all but one child to stand in a line. While the children are passing a ball from one end of the line to the other, the one remaining child runs around the line. The child must try to get back to the start before the ball reaches the end. If the child is unsuccessful, give the child another try and make the passing more difficult by passing behind the back or between the legs.

Children should take turns running around the line.

Equipment needed: Ball (option: beanbag)

You can find all of the Young Athletes Activities gifs on our Young Athletes Resources page.

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