The hearts you see on Valentine’s Day don’t have to have to be limited to representing romantic love! Valentine’s Day is also the perfect occasion to remind friends and family that they are loved and appreciated, or do something kind for your own heart.
Nigel loves all things related to holidays and celebrations, so he’s the perfect friend for Valentine’s Day! Here are some ways to have some kid-friendly fun on Valentine’s Day with Nigel:
1) Personalize a Note
Have Nigel leave a special Valentine’s Day note. Instead of the usual talk about martial arts, the note should focus on the value of friendship – what makes it so important, and what makes your child a good friend (see example at the bottom of the page). End the note by encouraging them to write a note to the friends they love. “Friends” can include siblings, parents, peers – even pets!
2) Play Hide-and-Seek Hearts
Go on a scavenger hunt for hearts! Have Nigel ‘hide’ the hearts: tape small pieces of candy or other prizes inside colored paper hearts and hide them for kids to find. Of course, sharing with friends is encouraged!
3) Play a Heart-Healthy Game
Like all muscles, the heart needs to work out to get stronger. Have Nigel include a heart-healthy challenge for your kids in his note. Ideas include:
- Ninja Races: Using the Obstacle Course Kit or playground equipment/backyard toys, create an obstacle course for your kids that makes them run, jump, and scramble to see who can use their ninja skills to get the fastest time!
The goal of cardio exercise is to get the heartrate up, which requires high-intensity movements like sprinting, so don’t make this an obstacle course focused on balance or dexterity. Also make sure your course is safe and appropriate to your child’s age and abilities.
- Countdown Kicks: Hold a target, pad or shield. Have your child do one roundhouse kick to the left, followed by one to the right; then two left and two right, three left three right, and so on. The challenge is that they have to count back down to. If you’re going to ten, once they reach ten on each side they must go back down to nine on each side, then eight…until they’re back to one left and one right kick. Have them kick as fast as they can!
Going up to either five or 10 kicks is a good goal, depending on your child’s age. If your child is particularly ambitious and enjoys a challenge, let them decide how high they can get their kick count (make sure they know when they start that they’ll also be working back down). Make sure you cheer them on along the way!
- Ninja Stealth Tag: This game works best in a dojo or backyard, and multiple kids. Tell them to stand in a circle, making sure there’s plenty of space in between them and in the center. One child stands in the middle. Have the center child close their eyes. You choose one or two children to be “ninjas” this round. Count to three. On three, say “Go!” At this mark, the center child is allowed to open their eyes and the “ninjas” come out of their places in the circle to try and tag the center child. Whoever tags the center child first is the new center. If the center manages to evade being tagged for a certain amount of time (five to 10 seconds is plenty) they remain in the center for another round.
Make sure that kids know not to try and tag the center’s face or head. You can add an extra rule specifying that only a certain part of the body, like the shoulders, stomach or back can be tagged.
How have you used Nigel for the holidays, and what fun Valentine’s Day-themed activities do your kids enjoy? Let us know in the comments!
Example of a Valentine’s note from Nigel:
Happy Valentine’s Day! I bet you’re looking forward to making arts and crafts in school today. One of the things I really admire about you is how creative you are. In fact, you’re a pretty cool all around! You’re smart, and funny, and you always let me sit by the back yard window at night so I can watch the stars come up!
Since it’s Valentine’s Day, I just wanted to say thank you for being a good friend! I also have a challenge for you: write a note to one of your friends, and let them know why they are a great friend. Martial arts is all about respect, after all, and sharing how you appreciate someone is a wonderful way to be respectful.
I hope you have the happiest Valentine’s Day ever! Don’t eat too much chocolate – remember, you have karate this afternoon!