Cardiovascular Fitness Routines
Health Adaptation: Students with asthma or obesity may have difficulty running for several minutes at a time. For the students with exercise-induced asthma or very low aerobic fitness levels, have them participate in short intervals with as much rest as necessary to avoid fatigue.
Cardiovascular Fitness Abstract #1: Beanbag Snatcher
Rationale: The game is easy to understand and has very few directions, which makes it appropriate for children with cognitive impairments.
Equipment: Six beanbags, 5 yarn balls, 3-ft styrofoam stick, popsicle sticks, floor tape to mark a "jail."
Description: Divide class into two equal teams. Place one team on each side of the gym. Place three beanbags on the back line of each side of the gym. The object is for the opposing players to capture the other team's beanbags and bring them back to their own side of the gym without being tagged. They must add the beanbag to the back line on their side of the gym. A player who is tagged on the opponent's side must go to jail. Make a corner of each side of the gym a designated jail area marked off by cones or tape. A teammate may rescue a prisoner by going into the jail and taking the prisoner's hand and bringing them back to their side of the gym without being tagged. One prisoner may be rescued at a time. The first team to capture all of the opponents beanbags is the winner.
Physical Adaptation: The child in the wheelchair should be given a 3-ft piece of styrofoam that can be used to tag other players. Since there is limited mobility, the child can also throw yarn balls at players to obtain prisoners and cannot be tagged by other nondisabled students. However, the opposing team could place one of their students on a scooter who can tag the student in the wheelchair.
Cognitive Adaptation: Allow children with cognitive disabilities to be tagged three times before being captured as a prisoner. Each time they are tagged, they must give up one of their popsicle sticks. When they lose three popsicle sticks, they must go to jail.
Cardiovascular Fitness Abstract #2: The Paper Chase
Rationale: Distraction from the normal relay race routine
Description: Set up relay race lines and give each student one page of a newspaper. Make sure there are no more than four students per line so that you maximize cardiovascular endurance. On the whistle, the students place the sheet of newspaper on their chest and run down and back. The object is to keep the newspaper on the chest without touching it, by running briskly enough to force the wind resistance to keep it on the chest. If the newspaper falls off, the student must stop running and place the newspaper back on the chest and then continue running.
Physical Adaptation: Students in wheelchairs need to keep the sheet of newspaper on their lap. If it falls to the floor, have another student place it back on the student's lap. If necessary, shorten the distance that the student in the wheelchair must wheel.
Cognitive Adaptation: Tape the newspaper to the student's chest if they do not understand the activity or are not able to run fast enough.
Cardiovascular Abstract #3: Partner Hula Hoop Tag
Equipment: Hula Hoops
Description: Students pair up into partners. Each pair holds one end of a hula hoop. Assign one pair as the taggers who also hold the ends of a hula hoop. When the whistle blows the taggers must run together and try to tag another pair. When a pair is tagged, they become the new taggers. The pairs must hold onto the hula hoop at all times. If one player breaks away from the hoop while being chased by the taggers, then they automatically become the new taggers.
Physical Adaptation: The child in the wheelchair does not have to hold a hula hoop with his partner. They just need to be within five feet of each other. However, when approached by the taggers, the wheelchair user and partner can run off in different directions and the taggers must tag both students before they become the new taggers. When the wheelchair user is the tagger, he will carry several small nerf balls in his chair and will throw the ball at the students. If a student is hit with the ball, they become the new taggers.
Cognitive Adaptation: Have student hold the hula hoop alone and try to get away from the taggers.
Cardiovascular Abstract #4: Balloon Bombardment
Equipment: Balloons for everyone in the class and a 4' long string.
Description: Have everyone in the class blow up a balloon and tie it to a piece of 4' long string. Tie the other end of the string to one ankle. Develop boundary lines in the gym (usually a half of basketball court is a good size area for this activity) and on the command, the students must attempt to step on each other's balloons while preventing their balloon from being stepped on. Once the student's balloon is popped they must leave the area and jog around the perimeter of the gym until the game ends.
Physical Adaptation: Students in wheelchairs must tie their balloons to the wheelchair. However, they are allowed to pull their balloon away with their hands when someone approaches to step on it. The student in the wheelchair will be given a lightweight fishing net to try and catch a student's balloon. If the balloon is caught in the net the student is out.
Cognitive Adaptation: Students with intellectual disability and other cognitive limitations will also be given a fishing net to catch another student's balloon. If the student is very low functioning, have them work on catching another student's balloon and not worry about having their own balloon popped. If the student would like to participate, give them two sets of balloons so that they will remain in the game for a longer period. Once the first balloon is popped, have student put on another balloon and reenter the game.