To perform the Family Plays you do have to be in good physical condition. Before starting make sure you have carefully read the preceding section on safety rules.
The plays make great rainy day or filler activities. They are good to do indoors during the winter, or outside when it is warm. They are perfect for picnics or trips to the beach.
Suggest doing the Family Plays whenever your children are full of energy and restless. For example, a good time might be after dinner while the grownups are talking or while the dishes are being washed.
Remove any sharp objects from your pockets, like a pen or pencil. If you are going to be rolling around, take off your glasses. For some of the plays you will want to take off your shoes.
Make your movements smooth and rhythmic. As you start a play, say out loud "backwards, forwards" or "up, down" to establish the rhythm. The first time you try a play, your movements will probably be sudden and jerky. After you have done it a few times, your motions will flow naturally and the play will feel right.
Another good way to start is to wait until your child wants to roughhouse. Always start with an easy move and progress to the more difficult moves. If your child is two years old, start with the back-to-back sit or rowboat. Do all the sits and the quieter simulations first.
With beginners plan ahead what play the child might want to do, so that you have something to suggest. Consult the guides in the back of the video. Promote the play a little before trying it. Describe what is going to happen and show your child the picture in the video. Ask your child if he or she wants to try it. If so, then help your child do the play, encourage your child while doing it, and congratulate him or her afterwards.
Once your children start doing Family Plays, they will want to try new moves. The trick then is to let them decide which plays to do. Give them the video and ask them to choose.
Children differ in their physical coordination and experience. You have to accept them where they are and go from there. As your children improve their physical abilities, they will gain confidence in themselves and try the harder moves.
It will help you to be patient if you think of Family Plays as a three or for year project. You do not have to do them all in one weekend.
Think of Family Plays as one component in an elementary physical education program, which also includes: stretching and aerobics, elementary dance, rhythm training, pantomime, children's games, and outdoor family activities. Each activity reinforces the others and helps to define an active environment.
If you use these words to describe what you are doing as you do the plays, your children will learn the words naturally.
Finally, make sure that your child knows a name for each play which he or she likes. This is the time to teach your child that the best way to get what you want is to ask for it, by name.