CHAPTER 8 (HOMEMADE IDEAS)
In many instances , it is necessary to keep the students moving and one way to do that is
to ensure what we teach is relevant . Another way is to include homemade or makeshift
equipment available when the students are at home . But, this should be included as part
of the physical education class , too. It will give the students an opportunity to
demonstrate their creativity and make equipment accessible in and out of school. A part
of that process is to include fitness calendars , which will not only incorporate skills ,
tasks , and activities , but also utilize basic equipment around the home. The best part of
using makeshift /homemade equipment is that the entire family will be involved. By
taking any material available in the house or yard , the students will be able to perform
activities that are free , easy to use , and comprise integration , imagination and relevant
media content that interests them.
Recipe . After the students use the fitness calendar and turn it icafeteria staff. Also, a
fitness bag is sent home with equipment , rubrics ,skills and rules of some lead up games .
Each week more calendars are chosen to repeat the process . As an incentive to
incorporate a lifetime of fitness , the students may make up their own calendars using the
makeshift equipment in their homes.
Integration with the core subjects plays an important part of the recipes for success. There
will be many math calculations , reading newspapers , and writing projects . This will be
combined with media content and developmentally appropriate activities to guarantee a
positive learning experience. Here are some ideas , but it must be understood that it is a
creative procedure that will change often and make the” recipe” different and delectable
to the needs and abilities of the students :
Save the phonebooks . Each household receives the thick, yellow book with thousands of
pages . Don’t throw it away just yet or use it as a door stop . Instead, try using them as a
light weight or place some about 3 feet apart with a golf tube . This can be used to crawl
under or jump over . Count(math) how many jumps can be made in 30 seconds and then
repeat the performance for a better score. Challenge the family or have friends complete
the task .
Got milk ? The empty milk jugs can be used as light weights with water or sand inside.
The jugs can also be used as boundaries , for a slalom course or a fitness circuit . During
winter months , they can be used as goals for a crab soccer or mini-hockey game with
foam balls from the craft store . Ask Mom for help and she will be involved in the action
The Hills are alive with the Sound of Silence . No ,its not a movie , but the silent sound
of paper wad balls being tossed into trash containers or cardboard boxes . It is a safe way
to practice throwing and catching skills , throwing at wall targets made from pizza pie
inserts . Numbers can be drawn on the pizza inserts and use math computations to keep
score . Ask Dad or friends to join in the fun. No serious competition permitted unless it’s
improving a previous performance. This is one time when a computer typing error with
a throw away paper wad will be a good thing. Add masking tape for more a more sturdy
throwing object . Help with the laundry and toss the paper wad balls into a laundry
basket from varying distances. Even rolled up socks can be used for more distance and
Soda pop cans. By stacking the cans in a pyramid shape , you can set up a bowling alley
in a (3-2-1) set up . There are different types of balls that may be utilized such as , a
styrofoam ball from the craft store , a foam ball , yarn ball , or tennis ball . Also, you can
simulate a cup stacking arrangement . Make sure to cover the soda pop can opening with
masking or duct tape. For integration activities , examine the bar code with nutritional
requirements and place them with health ingredients and calories . Do percentages and
math calculations with different labels .
Make it a very GOODYEAR . Use discarded car tires as a tug of war activity , a target
that is hung from a tree limb , agility station like a football drill , or roll the tire for
distance and strength . With older students , the tire(s) can be used as a weight in various
body positions. Of course , the tires can be used as targets that hang from a tree limb.
Swing the tire for more intense throwing practice.
Good to the last drop . Fill coffee can(s) with loose change for a weight , a goal ,
boundaries , or an indoor basketball hoop . Ask Mom to use a can opener to open up the
bottom part of the can. Ask Dad to screw the can onto a small wood , backboard and then
on a basement wall . Use tennis balls to simulate a basketball shooting contest or game. It
can be placed on a tree for outside play with different types of balls . (yarn ball , foam
ball or rag ball .
Fore . Golf tubes can be balanced on either hand for a time limit , used inside traffic
cones with a piece of yarn for a volleyball standard and a balloon to volley. To practice
for the back yard Summer Olympics , the tubes are just like safe javelins . Place the tubes
on top of traffic cones to crawl under or jump over. The tubes make for a wiffle bat with
a balloon or golf practice wiffle ball .
UP ,UP and Away . Any helium type balloon can be volleyed with little difficulty. Put
numbers or letters on each balloon for integrative activities. Bring out a rope clothes line
to play a backyard volleyball game . The rope can be attached between two posts or trees
or held by two players , who may move around and change the height for a variety of
skills . In a mini –baseball game , the balloon may be pitched to another person who has
another balloon as a bat .
Hit the beach . Bring out the beach towels , blankets and bed sheets to be used as a
parachute or in a back yard volleyball game . The volleyball may be tossed from beach
towels over a net. The net can be a jump rope, clothes line or leather strap .
Take the Plunge . Even though it may seem appalling but bathroom plungers make great
ski poles in the indoor Winter Olympics. By using scooters , skate boards or hardware
dollies , it can propel the students through a slalom course or distance race. A trip to the
hardware store or dad’s tool box can find insulation foam to be ducted taped to the
plunger for a batting tee.
The wheel goes round and round . Used or old bike tubes make great targets on the
ground for a makeshift horseshoe game. Place a tennis ball inside a tube sock for the
object to be tossed at varying distances for points for all socks that land inside or close to
the tubes . The” flingo” tube socks can be used like an Ultimate game for easier catching
Two sheets to the wind. Ask Mom or Dad for some used dryer sheets for juggling skills.
STEP ON IT . The steps and staircase can be used as exercise techniques that align with
easy ways to include the entire family in a fitness routine. Every time there is a TV ad ,
you can walk up and down the stairs or steps in any(TV) ad that lasts from 30 –60
minutes. Another fitness idea is to do a STEP TEST on the bottom step by going (up ,up,
down, down ) for 5 minutes or at each commercial. Repeat the drill according to the TV
show or an assigned amount of time. Help parents clean the house with a sweeper and
with each step , lift the sweeper with an upward lift(two hands) like a weight.
Strike it Rich . Any safe , flat household object can be used as a striking implement. Pull
out those colored ,plastic golf balls and strike them with a pizza insert , a book ,a
homemade racquet with old nylons and bent clothes hangar , or a tennis racquet.
The Electric Slide. Any time the wood floors need cleaned use a moist dish towel and
shuffle your feet to each side on the entire floor area. After this is done , switch over to a
dry dish towel to clean up any standing residue.
Fed Ex and UPS . Each time there is a delivery of household items look for the multi-
colored “peanuts “ that are placed in the box for a safe delivery. Gather all the peanuts
and put numbers or letters on each one. Scatter the peanuts about 5-10 feet away in front
of family members or friends . On a signal , they will have to spell a word or add the
numbers for points .
Soda or pop ? There are plastic inserts that come with a six pack of soda /pop containers.
They can be used as a safe Frisbee inside the house or when tied together with twist ties
will make a volleyball net .
Do the STOMP . Check the national phone chains for the Pactiv Air cushioning material
that protects the phone in delivery . They are air tight bags that can be used a smash type
activity with some heavy stomping. After there is a break in the bag , seal it with tape and
fill it with water and ,place it in the freezer for a home made ice pack.
Shower yourself with praise. Check out the shower curtain liners for unique ideas and a
great exercise regimen. This can be a great way to exercise to TV shows like MTV and
VH 1. Open up the colored markers and make your own DDR pad with all the arrows ,
directions and movements. Also, the curtain can be used as a target with all kinds of
designs . Place it against the house or a tree and add a ball to throw from varying
distances. To be more creative just take some Velcro and tape and put it on the ball and
target for play inside . Technology can be added by making a keyboard on the shower
curtain . Use a spelling list of motor skills and use that skill to jump, hop, skip , leap and
twist/turn to each letter to make an assigned word.
This medicine is good stuff . At times , equipment is overused or breaks. In this case ,
don’t throw away a deflated basketball . Ask Dad to cut a small slit on top of the ball.
Then , pursue the house for anything that can be placed inside the ball for a homemade medicine ball . It can be materials from the family work shop , such as , ball bearings , or
lead balls. Make sure to duct tape the opening or sew with a heavy thread. This is a
wonderful way to include all family members to share memories and working together.
Or, you can bring out an exercise mat or folded blanket to do some ab crunches with the
medicine ball . The ball can be passed at a short distance for arm strength work .
Exercise is a ball . Turn on the TV and exercise with the stationary ball at every
commercial or right along with a DVD/VCR tape. Better yet , ask Mom or Dad to help
you make your own exercise video and play it back on a DVD or VCR player. Who
knows? Maybe you’ll become a TV infomercial star ?
Let’s go shopping . Don’t throw away those plastic grocery bags ! Use them for a
makeshift safe-type ball , which can be made by stuffing all the bags into one sack. It can
be a volleyball or safe throwing object indoors. Individually , the bags can be used for a juggling object or a mini-parachute with strings of yarn and a fishing weight . Toss the
parachute in the air and do an exercise until the parachute hits the ground. Repeat the
process for a better score .
Carpet deim ! Make a trip to the floor and carpet store for some remnants and carpet
squares . They are great for a sliding exercise or as skates in floor hockey games in the
Winter Olympics .
Ground control to “Major Tom” . If you want to launch a rocket , that is , a bean bag ,
then use a hardwood board , dowel and bean bag to complete the action. The bean bag
can be made with beans from the grocery store and the covering can be made with sewing
material(cloth) and a few sewing stitches( ask mom for help) Under the launch board is a
dowel rod attached with screws and glue about 7 inches away from one end. The board is
about 3 feet long and a sturdy board material .Place the bean bag at one end, step on the
board and watch it launch for a personal catching machine.
The quicker picker upper . Here is what you’ll need for a home exercise program that
ends up more fun than work. Sit in a chair with a laundry basket nearby. Fold some
socks into a ball . Pick up the socks with both feet and flip them into the basket. Also,
when the legs are straight out , pause for a few seconds , then flip the socks into the
basket. This is great for the abs and thigh muscles. For more variety pick up different
objects and sizes such as , paper towels , Kleenex box or even old phone books.
Crafty . Travel to the craft store and purchase some styro foam block squares and acrylic
paint to use as dice . Roll the dice and exercise the number of times at each roll. Use math
calculations and double or triple the fun.
There is something fishy . Make a trip to the pet / fish store and buy some terrarium sand
in different colors for a throw and catch bean bag . Use a fishing net as a goal for a
Frisbee golf or target game.
Batter up . Take a two liter soda pop container , attach and duct tape the opening with
PVC pipe or a golf tube and there will be a bat to strike styro foam balls for home a run
Bingo . Ask dad to smooth out a wooden board , and then cut out holes big enough to
throw bean bags or even rolled socks into each hole for points and accuracy. Make a
bingo grid with (x and o ) to keep tabs of the score in the game.
Two scoops of breakfast cereal . Don’t throw out the milk jugs just yet. Carve out the
front portion of the half gallon milk jug to for a homemade scoop game set to throw and
catch inside the “pocket” . At the mouth of the half gallon jug, insert a wooden dowel or
cylinder of wood for a handle, and use duct tape for a better fit.
It’s a hold up, so sock it to me ! Ask mom for some clip on clothespins for a tag game .
Make teams to try to clip the clothespins on the other teams shirt tails . As an alternative
place tube socks in the back pockets for a rip tag game. Try to rip off(take) the socks
from another player.
The Olympics . Any time it is an Olympic year will be a good time to simulate the
dream of becoming an Olympic champion. For the indoor games try the following :
· Shoe boxes – speed skating
· Cardboard box- bobsled
· Cardboard slats – skis
· Scooter /dolie - luge
· Paper grocery bags – snow shoes
· Coffee cans , milk jugs – slalom
1. Golf tube – javelin
2. Golf tubes and phone books – hurdles
3. Frisbee/pizza insert plate – discus
4. Snake crawl – swimming
5. Chalk lines on side walk – long jump
6. Arm or leg wrestling
7. Backyard sports games( Olympics)
8. Integrate with core subjects( countries culture , geography , time zones and use the metric system for measuring .
9. Use pedometers and stop watches
10. Check heart rate and health status concerns
Recipe. Don’t be limited with the amount of available makeshift equipment or creativity . Always be on the lookout for new things to work with and make sure to include all family members . Also, incorporate this type of homemade materials in the regular physical education class. This carry over will entice the students to be active , encourage independent activity and help with making a personal fitness plan.