Since starting Dynamo Girl over five years ago, I have wondered if it would be possible to take what we do IRL in our classes and put them online so that people all over could participate in the empowering and joyful physical activities that we do.  In these unprecedented times and extraordinary circumstances where we are practicing social distancing or possibly even under official quarantine, out of necessity, the time has come to try bringing Dynamo classes online.  But in this case, our classes are not only about empowering girls, they are about giving people, kids and adults alike, an opportunity to move their bodies and lighten their souls.  We all need a chance to get a little silly, laugh a bit and interact with each other in ways that help build us stronger inside and out.

So with that, I am proud to introduce Dynamo Clubhouse, a YouTube channel with videos of our favorite Dynamo Girl activities.  If I’m being totally honest, creating something on the fly, for which I haven’t obsessively prepared and therefore, may open me up to mistakes and failure, makes me more than a little nauseous. This nascent effort is wholly experimental and will be entirely imperfect, but the Dynamo team is going to do our best with the resources at our disposal.  We are starting with a few short videos to get you started and our goal is to work up to full classes that will allow children and families around the country to feel strong, bright and true while we stay safe at home now and into the future.

The first thing we need for a successful experience is our Dynamo Clubhouse Playlist here: (My kids made it so if there’s anything accidentally inappropriate please report it to me ASAP!)  Second, we need some introductory activities to get us moving so we are going to demonstrate the activities which are designed to be done even in tight spaces.  If you don’t have the equipment we suggest, feel free to use whatever objects you have at your disposal.  And finally, our philosophy at Dynamo Girl and in our brand-spanking-new Dynamo Clubhouse, is that it’s all about the effort not the results — we are here to build each other up, encourage each other and cheer each other on.  Please remember (especially you parents and older siblings), every one of us is starting at a different place physically and mentally, so let’s respect our starting points and be kind to each other and ourselves.

Spot It Planking

Using the game “Spot it” (or any deck of cards), one person (the dealer) gets Spot It cards ready on the floor and one person prepares to get into plank position (the planker.) When the dealer says go, she places the first Spot It card in front of the planker while the planker begins her plank position (body like a straight line from top of the head to heels of the feet, arms straight under the shoulders or bent at elbows.) Once the planker “spots it” — calls out the object in the spot it card or the number/suit in a regular deck of cards— the dealer deals a new card and the planker calls out that one.  When the planker can no longer hold the plank, she comes down from her plank and counts the number of cards she “spotted” during her plank.  Then the dealer and the planker switch roles and begin again.  The goal is to have three turns each as a planker and beat your personal best each time.  Planking is hard — encourage your family and yourself to be patient with progress and celebrate small victories!

Human Tic Tac Toe

Lay down any kind of tape or lines on the floor in the shape of a giant tic-tac-toe board giving 3 color coordinated bean bags (or any 3 objects that look similar to each other and different from their opponents – socks, bananas/apples etc.) to each of the two teams.  Each team begins by standing behind a spot at least 3 yards away and facing the tic-tac-toe board.  The goal is for one team to get tic-tac-toe (three bean bags in a row either vertically, horizontally or diagonally.)  To play:  One player from Team 1 goes first and hops on one foot to drop a bean bag in a square. When the player from Team 1 comes back, a player from Team 2 then has a turn to hop up and place a bag in an empty square on the board. The players continue one at a time until the bean bags are all on the board.  Once the bean bags are on the board, on the count of three a player from each team races to move one of their bean bags on the board to a new spot that will give their team a tic-tac-toe victory.  Anyone who can understand the rules to regular tic-tac-toe should be able to play this human version.

Stinky Banana

Each player sits criss-cross on the floor (you can play with just two people across from each other or a whole group in a circle) and the goal is to hit a balloon back and forth to each other without letting it hit the ground.  Players should keep track of how many consecutive times the group hits the balloon before it falls to the ground.  If the balloon drops, players shout “Stinky Banana” and then start all over.  This game is excellent for when your family starts to get on each other’s nerves and arguing loudly because it encourages cooperation and communication with very low skill requirements.  It can be played by people of all ages.

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