Exercising is different for kids and adults. Adults head to the gym to lift weights or run miles. Children exercise by running around playing tag, doing cartwheels, and climbing on a playground. Growing up, my family was constantly on-the-go. We played games around the house such as hide-n-seek, dungeon, cops and robbers, and so many more. While playing each of these games, we were strengthening our relationships and without realizing it, getting exercise.
Growing up, my time watching television and playing games on the computer was limited. My parents made sure that we were not sitting around all day. They encouraged us to be outside running around. With modern technology, children now get distracted and forget how much fun playing outside can be. One way to combat this is set a time limit for your children on watching television and playing on the computer. Playing active games has many benefits for kids such as sleeping better at night, combatting obesity, and having stronger bones and muscles.
When my mom and I were home alone together, we practiced jump rope, hop scotch, jumping jacks, riding bikes, dancing to our favorite music, doing some tumbling and the ability to jump on one foot. I especially loved when we mopped our kitchen floor – we would dump a bucket of water and soap on the floor, mop a little, and then slide around like it was an ice skating rink! These activities built my relationship with my mother and helped me exercise for the day.
I also enjoyed playing games with my siblings and parents. The more the merrier! We would have little competitions such as who can jump rope the longest, stand on their head the longest, sprint the fastest, and hopscotch furthest. Competitions we always fun at my house – my whole family is very competitive, but we played other games as well. We played tag, hide-n-seek, sardines, ran through the sprinklers, had a scavenger hunt, and washed our parent’s car. These activities would keep us occupied for hours as we enjoyed playing indoors and outdoors. These games helped me build a stronger relationship with my siblings and parents.
Getting out of the house can be refreshing for everyone! I loved going to parks when I was younger to swing or play on the playground. Sometimes we would meet up with other families and play with them. Take a football to throw around or a soccer ball to kick around. Getting fresh air is always a good way to unwind from a stressful day. Y’all could also go ice skating, in-line skating, miniature golfing, go-cart racing, on a bike ride, a walk, and swimming at the local pool.
These are just a few ideas of ways for children to exercise. At first it may not be easy to peel your child away from his favorite television show, but it will be worth it! Moments like these will be ones that your children cherish for years!
What were some of your favorite games growing up?