As parents, we all know that it is very important for kids to maintain healthy lifestyles by doing things like eating healthy, having regular sleeping patterns, and brushing their teeth. However, exercise is equally important for kids. It helps them stay in shape and remain healthy and happy. Kids are not meant to sit around in the house all day watching TV and playing video games. Unfortunately, our lifestyle choices today have led to more instances of this in our kids. It is no surprise that childhood obesity rates are skyrocketing.
The good news is that the solution to this problem is extremely simple. Kids are, by nature, very fun-loving. Incorporating exercise into fun activities will make them enjoy moving around and staying in shape. To help you out, we have come up with this list of 13 fun activities that you can use to get your child to exercise. The best part is that all these activities can be done even with only one child with you as their partner!
1. Follow the leader
This is a classic and timeless game that requires no equipment. If you have several kids, they can take turns being the leader, guiding the others to match each of their moves. You can also throw some music into the mix to make things even more fun!
Motivate the kids to get active by jumping, skipping, crawling, and using their imaginations to come up with unique moves. Alternatively, you can also play Simon Says, which is another good game with almost similar instructions. Be Simon and let your child imitate everything you say and do, then switch.
2. Hikes and nature walks
While a lot of people think walking long distances is a lot of unnecessary work, this couldn't be further from the truth. Pick a beautiful track and let the little ones put on their hiking boots and explore.
If you do not live near mountains or hills, you can still have a nature walk by a pond, in a park, or even in the woods and drink in the beauty of the landscape. If you do a little research beforehand, the hike can even double up as a fun lesson in the outdoors!
3. Scavenger hunt
Pick some items from the house and hide them discretely in the backyard. Make a list of these items, then let your child try to find them all. If you have more than one kid, you can turn this into a race to see who can find the most items the fastest. You can also leave clues around to make them think a little.
4. Pillow fights
Pillow fights are fun and movement-intensive. Just be sure to use ordinary pillows and not feather-filled ones. However, if you are okay with having a house covered in feathers, well, go for it!
5. Obstacle course
Create a challenging and engaging obstacle course using simple household items like couch cushions, blankets, pots, and pans. The kids can somersault around the living room, climb over piles of pillows or even climb over blankets stretched between the coffee table and couch. If you require more room for this activity, consider taking things outdoors.
6. Pool games
Kids love pools. Whether you have one in your backyard or you have to take them to one, they are the perfect solution if you need your kids to let loose a little. Just make sure there is always an adult around to supervise them as they have fun.
You can let them play popular active water games like Water Polo, or make them close their eyes and look for each other in the water.
7. Tree dancing
For this activity, all you need is a tree. Let your kids run around it as you count. They can sing-song as they do it to make it extra fun. They can also see who can swing from low branches, or who can jump over roots. Just be sure to be present in case of any injuries or emergencies, and don’t let them climb too high up the trees.
8. Animal walks
Let your kids use their imaginations to come up with a variety of types of animal walks. They can imitate how bears walk, or even run like cheetahs, or waddle around like penguins. Let your children show you how fast a rabbit runs, or how slow a turtle walks. For the exercise, adjust the moving speed each time your kids switch animals.
9. Sock skating
Let the kids put on their socks and slide around on the hard surfaces in the house. They can practice spinning around or trying to see who can slide the furthest. You can even join in the fun if you want to. Pretend everyone is a professional ice skater in the middle of a frozen pond in the winter. Just be careful enough to ensure that the kids don’t get injured by splinters and sharp corners.
10. Dance party
Put on your favorite music, turn up the volume, and let the party begin! You can take things up a notch by using fun lights and disco balls. The kids can even compete to see who has the best dance moves!
11. Clean-up race
This activity is great not just for the kids but also for the house! Assign each kid a chore, and let them compete to see who will finish cleaning up first. You can also give awards to encourage them to want to do it regularly.
For this, you need a driveway and some chalk. Draw a detailed maze, then have the kids race through it for fun. Enhance the kids' creativity too by involving them in drawing.
13. Wheelbarrow and crab walk races
These positions might be tough to attempt but are always fun to watch. Let the kids race around in pairs while in these positions. You can make it a timed race to see how long they'll take to go round the house, for example.
As you can see, it is absolutely possible to promote fitness in your home starting today. You can also make it fun while at it. Exercise does not have to be a boring activity! So try these activities out with your little one and see how they like it!