The advent of technology has made it more challenging than ever for parents to get their kids off of the screen and outdoors to play. If you’re worried that your child isn’t getting enough exercise, enforcing strict exercise schedules and boring activities isn’t always the way to go.
Below, we’ve compiled six fun-packed fitness activities that’ll get your kids up and about in no time.
If the weather’s too hot for your child to play outside, a small yoga session is a perfect way to get some exercise while at home.
Yoga is not only incredible for your child’s physical fitness, but also carries many benefits for their emotional and mental well-being. It can help your child manage anxiety, increase mindfulness, improve emotional regulation, and boost strength and flexibility.
This is why many early learning centres in Australia — such as Raising Stars — actually include yoga in their curriculum.
The best part about yoga is that you don’t need any special equipment or prior training. Bring out a yoga mat, learn these simple poses, and kick off your morning with a relaxing 15-minute at-home yoga class.
2. Bike Rides
Cycling is an excellent activity for your child’s physical health and mental well-being.
Biking will not only help your child get the recommended 60 minutes of daily physical activity, but it also has many other benefits. It can help your child feel more connected to the local area, encourage an environment-friendly means of transport, and is a stress-relieving and fun-filled activity that your child will greatly enjoy.
If your child doesn’t know how to bike, gift them a bicycle and teach them how to go soaring down the street. Once they’re old enough, encourage them to cycle to school or bike down to the shops to run a quick errand. Make sure to teach them how to bike safely in traffic and wear a helmet at all times.
You can even make a family afternoon out of it — bike down to the local playground or look up scenic spots you can visit with your kids. Bring along plenty of water, a picnic hamper, and a polaroid camera to capture some scenic views along the way.
Hiking provides an incredible combination of physical activity, fresh air, outdoor exploration, and visual stimuli. If you want your child to be healthier and more connected to their surroundings, family hiking trips are the way to go.
Most children are generally drawn to nature, and hiking can help instil a sense of adventure, teach them about the importance of wildlife, and encourage a healthy lifestyle. At least once a month, try to replace screen time with green time by organising a family hiking trip and bringing your children along.
Be sure to pack hiking essentials like navigation tools, sun protection, first-aid kits, and plenty of food and water. You can make the long treks more exciting by letting your child take photos to compile in a scrapbook when they get home. You can also give them a plant guidebook and ask them to identify any flowers or wild plants they see along the way.
Dancing helps boost your kid’s flexibility, agility, spatial awareness, muscular strength, endurance, and coordination, as well as improving psychological well-being and mental dexterity.
If you’re trying to get your child away from gadgets, there’s no better way to get them moving than having a kid’s dance party in the comfort of your living room. Not only will this incorporate some cardio into their routine, but dancing is also an important creative outlet for your child to express themselves freely and get more in touch with their body.
Push the sofas aside, create a DIY dance floor, blast your child’s favourite beats, and let them dance away!
5. Capture The Flag
Sparking up your kid’s competitive spirit is a great way to get them up and moving. Gather your kid’s friends and let them work up a sweat with a couple of rounds of Capture The Flag.
For this game, you’ll preferably need a large space (such as a playground) with plenty of barriers or closed spaces to hide. Divide the kids up into two teams and give each group a flag. Each team has to hide its flag and try to capture the other team’s flag. If a member of one team is caught on the other team’s territory, they are put on a time-out until touched by a member of their own team.
As the game involves a lot of running, it’s a great way to let your kids blow off some steam and have an exciting play session outside the house.
Running is one of the best exercises for your child, helping build stamina and strengthening muscles, heart, and lungs. It also boosts feel-good endorphins, gives an exciting adrenaline rush, and helps improve sleep and general mental well-being.
If you encourage your kid to run or race regularly, they will build a running habit that will be of great help to them later on in life. But if your child doesn’t race regularly, don’t immediately push them into something too competitive. Start off slow, and let them challenge themselves and grow as they go along.
One way to make running more fun is by organising races where the neighbourhood kids can compete with each other for some fun prizes. If you have multiple children, have a friendly race competition and reward the winner with a week off-chores.
You can even get creative with the races by having one-legged races, three-legged races, and so on. Draw up a track in your backyard, blow the whistle, and let your kids speed away!
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