Emphasize the PLAY in Physical Activity Exercise 3: Ready! Set! Go!

Mar 09, 2011
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Enthusiasm and positivity can often be contagious.  It may be surprising in all that you can accomplish with a child by taking a routine activity and adding in some passion and zest.  Rather than commanding a child to run around a track, or take a rather random jog back and forth …add in this key component: “Ready! Set! GOOOOOO!!! “ and begin in a shorter distance such as a twenty yard dash.

Running around a track or striding on a treadmill can be great, but lining up for a twenty yard dash down that track or striding for a one minute countdown on the treadmill started by eagerly saying “Ready! Set! Go!” can be just that fervor your child needs to get them excited enough to give it a go.

These three words may not be an automatic step to moving, but may require joint participation at the beginning.  Grab your child, look face to face with joy, and shout it out together.  “Ready! Set! Go!” and move your child to complete the dash and show your excitement once they cross that “finish line”.

Also, “Ready! Set! Go!” can be the starter to running, skipping, hopping, or shuffling for those first twenty yards.  It can be the starter to a relay or partner races.  And shouting out the command can be a great chance to have your child improve on verbal interaction and may allow them to find freedom in initiating the movement on his or her own terms.

Supplies: I encourage parents and clients to keep equipment easy, handy and visible.

  • ü  Simple!-an area to move
  • ü  Cones or object for visual start and stop

Task Analysis (Or keywords for coaching cues):

  • Place visual cues or cones for both a starting and stopping position
  • Line up
  • Adult can hold child’s left or right hand and provide verbal cue “Ready! Set! Go!”
  • Engage a running, skipping, hopping, or shuffling movement for twenty yards or more
  • Move forward, backward, or sideways until you reach the stopping position

Reminder: Give the child “fitwork” with an exercise chart to monitor progress, set goals, and provide a visual.

For more exercises or information, visit www.right-fit.com or read “101 Games and Activities for Youth with Autism”

Author: suzanne