January 31 is Backward Day and we’re celebrating by putting a silly spin on the ways we move for 24 hours. By thinking inside out and upside down for a whole day there’s no telling what kind of backward behaviour will happen. The best part is, kids won’t need convincing to try these sometimes silly movements and the benefits they’ll gain from testing new skills will develop their physical literacy.
Here are some ideas about how you and your family can celebrate Backward Day on January 31st:
1. Wake up silly
On January 30, the night before Backward Day, go to bed upside down! With your feet at the head of the bed, and your pillow at the end, you’re bound to be backwards when you wake up on January 31. HINT: This will get your brain thinking differently about movement for the day ahead.
2. Switch hands
One of the easiest adjustments you and your family can make on Backward Day is using your non-dominant hand for simple tasks such as brushing teeth, eating breakfast, and zipping zippers.
3. Go backwards
However your kids get to school, take a different route on January 31. Driving or biking in a new direction can offer a different perspective on places you see every day. If your kids walk to school, challenge them to step backwards for the whole distance.
4. Stand tall
Get (home)work done on this day by standing at a table or desk. This idea isn’t new but January 31 is the perfect day to move and try things differently.
5. Backward play
Encourage your children to attempt backward skills in their usual activities:
- backstroke in swimming
- backwards skating in hockey
- scoring in soccer with a part of the body other than the foot
- backwards skipping
- switch-hitting in baseball
- shoot hoops with your back to the net
6. Backward littles
For the younger kiddos in the family, parents can model backward crawling and reverse tightrope walking (or even backward jumping or hopping for older siblings).
7. Breakfast for dinner
Despite dinnertime involving little movement, occasionally shaking up normal, everyday activities can help kids think more creatively. BONUS: Cereal is easier than spaghetti.
How will your family move differently on Backward Day? Tell us and then show us on January 31!