All kids love physical activities. Most kids love to run, play, jump, kick a ball and do many other physical activities. Kids don't "hate" exercise.They naturally love physical activities. So if you make exercise time fun for kids, you will be able to get your kid out of that couch in front of the tv or off the seat in front of the computer in no time!
My child has epilepsy so I have been asked by her neurologist to include as much physical activities as I can for her. This is no easy task because she attends a school in a system which focuses on homework and school work rather than physical play. We can hardly find the time but we have to!
How to Get Your Child Off the Couch and Moving
The very first thing I did was to inform the kids that we will factor some time for fun and games in their routine. They whooped for joy! Next, we drew up a time-table. Their schedule is rather tight with after school tuition, piano lessons and other activities so we actually had to squeeze in some time, factor that time in and draw up a time-table to commit ourselves.
The kids were delighted. They sat down with me and we planned their "gym time" or "sports time" together. It would be ideal for us to include sports activities daily but it simply isn't possible for us so we made Mondays and Fridays "Sports Time". They really look forward to Mondays and Fridays now.
Ideas for Outdoor Physical Actvities for Kids
After drawing up and making the time commitment for physical activities, we had to come up with some physical activities and games. This is very simple for young kids. They naturally love to run and jump. Here are some ideas for physical games and activities for kids and they are all very simple and cost next to nothing.
Outdoor Activities Ideas for Kids Take them to the playground. This is the easiest way out. Kids love the playground. They love the swings, the monkey bars, the see-saws and slides. You can just let them play whatever they fancy here. They outdoors will do you good too.Organise a family jog. Jogging together as a family and you will have a chance to improve your fitness levels as well. You can jog around the neighbourhood, at the park or even around your house from room to room and up and down stairs if it rains.Get a ball. A ball is great for kicking, throwing, balancing. All of which encourages physical activities. Bring your ball to the park or play it in your own garden or porch.Introduce a racquet game. Tennis or badminton are good games which will improve coordination and make your child run and sweat. It is also more fun than just running if your child prefers a challenge.Play hopscotch in your porch. All you need is a box or chalk. Get your child to draw and design their own hopscotch and jump along according to their personalised self designed hopscotch. Once my kids drew up to 40 boxes of various sizes and shapes and jumped in and out of them according to the numbers they assigned to each box.Get a skipping rope. Have the kids skip or play jump rope. They can play high jump with two other family members holding each end of the rope or long jump by using the rope as a benchmark.Teach them to ride a bike. A bicycle is perfect for riding around the park or neighbourhood and is sure to work up some sweat but always make sure your child rides in a safe place away from traffic.Swimming is perfect for an all around body workout for your child and you too!Play catching or hide and seek with your child. This is sure to generate some laughs plus it gets you running around and sweating too! (And definitely more fun than a computer game). You child will love the attention she gets from you when you play with her and that is more important to her than any cartoon on tv or the most addictive pc game. Try it! You can play this indoors too!Get a hula hoop or two. Challenge your kid to see who can hula hoop for longer. That ought to keep your heart rate up too!
Indoor Activities Ideas for Kids
What happens when it rains? Do you stop all physical activities and stay home drawing, coloring, playing board games, doing puzzles or watching tv instead? Of course not! Why should you. If you have included physical activities in your child's routine, you can stick to it by being innovative.
Indoor Activities Ideas for Kids Play with balloons. Blow up as many balloons as possible then throw them up in the air. Ask your kids to keep them afloat in the air. The challenge is not to let any balloon drop to the floor. This will get everyone running about excitedly. Join in the game to improve your fitness levels.Dance, dance, dance! One of the things my kids love to do is dance. We would often put on a instrumental cd then have everyone interpret the music in a dance. It is funny to watch the dances they come up with. Some music makes them march around the room. Some make them wiggle like a snake. I often join them and sometimes we march around like a train. This gets me panting and sweating too.Set up an obstacle course. Use anything you can think off. We used the children's pop up tunnel, the hula hoop, some chairs and stools and set up an obstacle course. Then we timed the kids to see who could go back and forth the obstacle course in the fastest time.Bean bags are fun and cheap! You can sew your own bean bag. Cut a cloth into two squares. Sew them together. Stuff in some beans and close up the bag by sewing in the ends. Then get the kids to balance them on their heads or hands and run around without dropping the bean bag. Or you can throw the bean bag to one another. Or throw them up in the air, turn a full circle and catch the bean bag before it drops. Or throw two bean bags to each other and making sure you catch each other's bean bag without dropping.Hula Hoop, Catching, Hide and Seek and other games can be played indoors too.Aerobics fun. We take turns becoming "gym instructor" where one child will become the gym instructor while the rest follow his moves. Mum can take turns becoming "gym instructor" or join in as a participant too. This is a great warm up or cool down method. After warming up the neck, hands and legs and entire body, you can speed things up by doing jumping jacks or running on the spot. This will certainly turn up the heat and your heart rate too!
Physical Fitness is cheap
Most of the activities we have at home are cheap. We do not need to send the kids to expensive gym classes or yoga classes. You can do them in the comfort of your home with a few simple home-made tools. Physical fitness is good for developing minds. Make time for it. Then the next step is to make sure the kids have proper nutrition and lots of rest and good sleep.
Hope you have fun trying out these activities with your kids. They will love you for it and you will enjoy yourself too. However, you do have to make a commitment to set aside some time for it. Like everything else in life, no pain, no gain. First, you must commit yourself to it, otherwise how can you convince your child that physical activities is more fun than the latest computer game, Ben 10 or Barbie Cartoon?