With so much digital stimulation available today such as video games, tablets and the like, instant gratification has become the most important consideration for a child to deem an activity as fun. But whatever happened to good, old-fashioned play time? Many kids end up sitting on the sofa with a device in their hands rather than playing outside. The result is that children are packing on more pounds than they used to, which puts them at risk for a host of diseases.
Here are some fun exercises for kids. They won’t realize they’re exercising since they will be too busy having fun to care.
- Monkeying around – Challenge a child to complete a playground obstacle course in a timed fashion. Whoever gets through the entire course wins. By including requirements like going down the slide five times, climbing the monkey bars from one side to the other, scaling the jungle gym or running two laps around the perimeter, children will learn to complete fitness goals. Parental involvement is more important than people realize. Parents can get in on the fun to make the challenge more real.
- Scavenger hunt – Hide treasures around the house, both inside and out. Then write clues on index cards suggesting a method of exercise to use to get to the next location. For example, if the child is to advance to the deck from the kitchen suggest they go where the sunshine meets their face and the wind greets their hair, but use jumping jacks to get there.
- Animal yoga – Kids are so flexible. Capitalize on that by introducing them to yoga. The poses they’ll do emulate cats arching their backs and snakes slithering along the ground. Encourage children to make the animal sounds as they perfect the pose. Between the giggles they will strengthen their core and leg muscles.
- Video games rock – Don’t forget the video games! Many game developers create games that encourage movement and exercise. Join in the fun and make the activity a family affair.
Children can be coerced off the couch. They are still children after all and will have fun the moment they begin playing. It just takes a little planning to find some great exercises for kids they’ll actually want to do!