In today’s digital age, it can be difficult to pull kids away from the television, their phones, computers or tablets. However, it’s extremely important to get children outdoors to play and encourage a “more green, less screen” lifestyle. The best way to get your kids excited about physical activity is to participate as a family.
These exercises will help get your kids excited about getting healthy and having active fun:
1. Create a Superhero-in-Training
Use total-body exercises to get children energized by relating the activities to something that excites them. Superhero training can incorporate balancing, crawling, jumping and splashing. Kids can practice balancing by laying a jump rope or garden hose on the ground and pretending that it is a tightrope. Set up tables, pop-up tunnels, large boxes and lay a broomstick across two chairs for a crawling obstacle course. Your miniature heroes can imagine they’re crawling through rubble to save their town or leaping from building to building using a line of hula hoops and jumping from hoop to hoop. Bring out your child’s inner Aqua Man by setting up targets for water balloon toss competitions and running through the sprinkler.
2. Organize the Playground Olympic Games
Gather the neighborhood kids or your child’s classmates together at the local park and host the Playground Olympic Games. You can put their creative minds to work and have each team create a flag for their “country” and even hold a mock opening ceremony. Create obstacle courses with monkey bars, playground structures, slides and other games such as relay races, kickball and capture the flag to get the kids involved and rack up points for their team.
3. Jump on the Trampoline
There is nothing quite as fun as jumping on a trampoline, and as an added bonus, it offers many health benefits. Jumping is key to a child’s mental and physical development and helps to accelerate the progress of gross motor skills, balance and coordination, as well as improving core strength and helping to keep the child fit. Take safety precautions and make sure that the trampoline has a safety net. There are a ton of fun trampoline moves kids can try out including the seat drop, knee drop, hands and knees drop, back drop, straddle jump, pike jump and different combinations of these.
4. Try Yoga for Kids
Yoga is not only great for adults, but for kids as well. Yoga can strengthen their muscles, improve core strength, and increase balance, coordination and agility. Have your kids sit on their heels and place their hands on their thighs for the resting position. There are even studies that suggest that yoga will help them improve their focus and concentration in school.
To keep your children’s interest, come up with fun poses to imitate your child’s favorite animals. For more yoga fun, break out the Twister game! Or if you’re searching for yoga classes for kids in Boston and the surrounding towns, visit BostonParentsPaper.com/yogaclasses.
5. Do a Hula Hoop Dance
Try hula-hooping with your kids for exercise after school. Using hula-hoops is a great way to build kids’ core strength while working on coordination and rhythm. See who can keep the hula-hoop going the longest, do a goofy dance or add a couple more hula-hoops to the mix to keep it interesting.
Through these fun and easy exercises, kids will look forward to going outside and enjoy staying active. Get outdoors as a family to combine exercise and bonding time, and the whole family will not only be healthier, they will have fun together.
Kevin Christofora is the author of The Hometown All Stars children’s book series, illustrated by Dale Tangeman. Christofora, a father and little league coach, hopes his books will inspire children to play outside more often.