Family Fitness Ideas
Need a little inspiration?
Sign up here to receive
the fitness information
you need when it comes
to family fun, nutrition and
sports and fitness!






Family Fun


Make It, Take It, Play It

Beanbags are easy to make, easy to take and fun to play with alone or in a group.

“Otedama” is a traditional Japanese game played with 5 small beanbags (or ojami.) When the game was originally created, in the 9th century, the beanbags were often made by grandmothers who used scraps of kimonos. You can use old t-shirts or other small pieces of cloth to make them. Then play an endless array of games that improve eye-hand coordination and dexterity.



Gather
For the beanbags:
•   5 pieces of cotton fabric 4 x 6.5 inches each
•   use 5 different color fabrics or
•   use one larger piece and cut it up
•   Needle and thread
•   10 oz. dried lentils or black beans

For the carrying bag:
•   One 8.5 x 11-inch piece of fabric
•   Needle and thread
•   12-inch cord

Make It
•   Lay out one piece of 4 X 6.5-inch fabric
•   Fold the fabric in half so that the short edges meet
•   Turn the “good” side of the fabric inwards
•   Pin long side evenly
•   Stitch the pinned side
•   Use a simple running stitch with small stitches
•   Use a sewing machine for speed
•   Be sure to tie solid knots at both ends of your threads
•   Stitch one short side
•   Make a large knot at the end of the thread so it does not pull through the fabric
•   Use small stitches and gather the fabric together as you go
•   Pull tightly together, then knot the thread securely
•   Turn the fabric the right way out and hold the gathered edge at the bottom
•   Turn the top edge in by about ½ inch
•   Sew around the top with large gathering stitches
•   Do not finish off the edge, and leave the needle on the thread
•   Measure out 2 oz. of beans or lentils
•   Pour the beans into the fabric tube
•   Gather the fabric top tightly with thread still on needle
•   Stitch closed securely
•   Make a few extra stitches through the top from one side to the other,
    just to make sure all the beans stay inside!
•   Repeat sewing and filling remaining 4 beanbags

Take It
•   Make a carrying bag using the same basic instructions for the smaller bags,
    using an 8.5 x11 inch piece of fabric
•   Finish the top by threading a cord through the folded edge
•   Knot the cord to cinch the bag easily

Play It
Simply tossing beanbags to one another is easy. But play these fun, challenging games and you’ll improve eye-hand coordination.

Scatter and Switch
•   Scatter the five beanbags on the floor
•   Pick up one and toss it into the air with hand #1
•   Catch it with hand #1
•   Transfer bean bag to hand #2
•   Pick up another beanbag and toss it into the air and catch it with hand #1
•   ithout dropping the first bag, transfer the second bag to hand #2
•   Repeat until you have five beanbags in one hand
•   Make it more difficult by catching bags in hand #2 while also
    holding the bags in that hand

Back of the Hand
•   Throw one beanbag with hand #1
•   Catch it on the back of hand #2
•   Throw it from the back of the hand #2 and catch it with hand #1
•   Make it more difficult by tossing it from the back of one hand to the back
    of the other hand

Top of the Foot
•   Balance the beanbag on your right foot
•   Toss it and catch it with the same foot
•   Switch the beanbag to the left foot and toss and catch with that foot
•   Make it more difficult by tossing from one foot and catching with the other

Turn, Clap, Jump, Balance
•   Throw a beanbag in the air, turn around, and catch it
•   Throw the beanbag up and backwards over your head and
    catch it behind your back
•   Throw the beanbag in the air, clap your hands once, and catch it
•   Clap your hands twice, then three times, then more
•   Clap your hands under your right leg or left leg before catching it
•   Throw the beanbag up, jump, and catch it.
•   Jmp twice. Jump three times!
•   Balance the beanbag on your head or one on each shoulder
•   Kneel down and stand up again
•   Climb the stairs
•   Jump and twist
•   Continue to play and increase the number of times you can keep the
    beanbags balanced while moving





Get family fun
information
from the
FitFamily archives!
Missed any of our
previously
posted family
fun ideas,
CLICK HERE
to view them.



© 2016 UNITED STATES AIR FORCE, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Privacy Notice and Consent