We are 4 days into the #GETActive30 Day Challenge, and we are all off to a great start! Yet, it’s early so I know we will encounter challenges that will try to keep us from our daily activity.
One of the biggest challenges to exercising on a daily basis for many parents is what to do with the kids. Like many other things in our family, we try to find ways to involve our kids. Involving the kids in your physical activities provides a great way to spend time, and it models an active lifestyle. The hope being that your kids will adopt this lifestyle even after they are on their own, and they will do the same with their children.
Knowing that there may be challenges ahead I came up with a list of “7 Fun Physical Activities Involving the Entire Family” for you to do with your family. Enjoy and #GETActive30!
1) Family Bike Ride
If you have kids that can ride on their own, then strap their helmets on, get on your bikes and ride to every corner of your neighborhood. For parents like us with non-bike riding younger kids put them in one of the bike carts or seats that connects to your bike and ride out!
2) Play a sports that you enjoy
Go to the nearest soccer field (or any field) and choose teams. Parents vs. kids, boys vs. girls, or everybody against dad (for those families in which the dad thoroughly dominates everyone in the family when playing sports…like our family! lol). Set your watch or phone for 15 minutes and play non-stop until your device buzzes. Take a 5 minute water break and do another 15 minutes. Dads, watch the moms because, in my experience, they sometimes bend the rules! 😉
3) Wii or Kinect games
When I grew up, video games only gave your thumbs a workout. With today’s video games you can get a full body workout, and with some games even measure your progress. Choose a dance video game, a fitness video game or something that has you up and moving. You can easily get 30 minutes out of this, if not more, and actually get a benefit from your kids playing video games!
4) Neighborhood walks
This is a good after dinner activity. Similar to the bike rides, get everybody together and take off walking. Go as far as you want, without getting lost, and talk and walk. Our kids usually ride their scooters or roller blade, so my wife and I get a chance to have somewhat of a private conversation and leisurely stroll. If you have little ones, then put them in the stoller or the wagon. Bring water and something for them to capture rocks, bugs, or whatever else they find.
5) Athletic training session
Our kids are 11, 6, and 2. The oldest two each play basketball and soccer. Our 11 year old also runs track, and our 6 year old also plays baseball. So we are playing something year-round. At least a couple times per week I will take them and give them a training session/workout for the in-season sport. One way to involve everybody is to have the younger kids participate in the drills. In soccer, it could be 1 vs. all for the the participating child. In baseball, after all the balls are thrown or hit in the field everyone could run and pick up the scattered balls. In basketball, the non-participating kids could make passes, chase down rebounds, or try the dribbling drills themselves. Everybody is moving and the kids learn the sport from their siblings.
6) Yard work
A parent can mow the yard with a push mower, and the kids could help rake up the grass (or leaves in Fall) when done. In winter, in cities where it snows, find some toy/small shovels and let the kids help shovel the sidewalk, while the parent(s) shovel the drive. In spring and summer pick weeds and make it a competition to get everyone moving. Be creative with this one, but the main thing is to involve the kids. They will learn to appreciate and enjoy work, instead of not liking it and avoiding it. And they will GET Active in the process.
7) King of the hill
Find a park or some area with a decent size hill. Race up and down the hill as many times as possible. There is a splash park that we go to and there is a huuuuge hill! When our son 1st made it to the top he said, “look at all that world out there!” He was about 4 years old at the time and literally thought he was seeing the entire world. Running up and down that hill a few times was taxing on me, but it was fun and the entire family enjoyed.
When you are completing your #GETActive30 activities this weekend and next week, I encourage you to involve your kids. It is a GREAT investment of time, GREAT fun, and a GREAT way to get the entire family committed to an active lifestyle!
Question: Do you have any physical activities that the entire can do together? Please share in the comment section below.
Growing up we used to take family bike rides ALL the time (at least before we started high school). We also used to help my Dad with the yard work (grass clippings make for some AWESOME bird’s nests). A few activities that I would love to pass on to my children (they are still too young for bikes)
That is awesome Sarah! And a perfect example of how it stayed with you, as you will do some of the activities w/your kids and they will probably do the same. Thanks for sharing!