Being a parent is no easy task. Along with working to support your family, you’ll also find yourself worrying over how to raise your kids right. For some parents, that’s having sit-down talks where life lessons can be imparted to them. For others, it’s providing your child with experiences they will carry with them for the rest of their lives.
Why not combine the two? Teach them that fitness can be fun! Rather than making them run laps in the backyard or join you at the gym, you can have them exercise while enjoying every second of it. Such positive experiences can cause them to embrace a lifestyle of fitness and play, choosing to run around outside rather than remaining glued to the TV.
But remember to practice safe play at all times. This includes keeping a watchful eye on your kids’ condition as well as your own. And if your child has an allergy, consider having them wear allergy bracelets for kids to protect them if they ever play at a friend’s or neighbor’s house.
Here are some of our favorite activities to share with your kids.
1. Play follow the leader
This game will never get old for younger children. Take turns switching leaders as you traverse through a local park or through the woods behind your house. By climbing over obstacles and crawling under heavy branches, you’ll be able to enjoy an adventure together.
2. Have a dance party
Sometimes all you need is to shake out your limbs and let out some energy. Turn on your kids’ favorite music and have a dance party in your living room and throughout the house. You can even enhance the experience by adding some lights to the room — even something like a rotating disco ball or a lava lamp you dug out of the closet.
3. Have a scavenger hunt
All you need is something to hunt down. Let different family members take the reins every other time you play. You could hide household items, food treats and little rewards to excite them along the way. To up the ante, you can hide clues along the way, too. You can slowly build tension by getting them to run around searching for the next hint.
4. Plant a Garden
Any gardener knows that gardening is a workout within itself. You can take your kids to your nearest greenhouse to find pots, plants, fertilizer and more to make your garden, including them in the planning process. From there, you can return home and spend the weekend planting it together. Not only will it include them in the process of planting, but they’ll be able to watch their hard work bloom in due time.
5. Play Wii Fit
If you still have a Nintendo Wii sitting around, put it to use by breaking out a Wii Fit game. You and your kids will have a blast, whether it’s playing baseball, tennis or bowling.
6. Make a chalk maze
Let them use their imaginations. Take turns making chalk mazes in your driveway or along the sidewalk. The more elaborate, the more exciting it will be to follow. You can even turn it into a game by timing your kids to see how fast they can make it through.
7. Walk like an animal
See if your kids can embody the spirit of their favorite animal, having you and your family mimic them in your backyard. This can include miming them as well as making animal noises to accompany it. Ask them to move like a chicken, waddle like a penguin, shimmy like a crab or crawl like a sloth!
8. Sock skating
You don’t need ice to go skating. Get your family together on your hardwood floors and have everyone skate or dance with their socks on. You can make it especially fun by acting as if you’re ice skating, spinning around making little jumps along the way. But be careful! You don’t want to get too rowdy while indoors.
9. Throw a pillow fight
Why not enjoy the oldest game in a child’s playbook? Pick up your pillows and have a playful fight amongst the family. Just watch out for anyone using a memory foam pillow.
10. Play balloon ball
Balloon ball, better known as “Keep It Up,” is a simple way to have fun while playing indoors. All you have to do is smack the balloon up and take turns hitting the balloon back into the air, seeing how long you can keep it up for. After a while, you can mix it up by playing balloon volleyball with the family.
11. Make an obstacle course
Couch cushions, blankets, pillows, pots and pans. You can construct an obstacle course for the whole family to get over. If you want to, you can even extend the course to run from inside to outside and back.
12. Freeze dance
A dance party is fun, but why would anyone want to make the music stop? Consider it an alternative to musical chairs. Every time the music stops, you and your kids can strike a pose, which you’ll have to hold for as long as the music is stopped. When the music strikes back on, you can get back to it, dancing all over again until the next STOP.
13. Jump ropes
A jump rope can provide an endless amount of fun, all while providing a great workout. You can make it into a competition, seeing who can do the most skips or who can jump rope for the longest without catching the rope on their ankles.
How to stay safe while playing
While you’re out and about playing with your children, it’s important to keep both them and yourself safe. That can include practicing caution while exercising together, knowing each other’s limits. On the other hand, it can include having them wear medical bracelets for kids. They can remain safe while playing, having a line of defense wrapped right around their wrist.