There’s plenty of information online about how you can get your kids to exercise. It’s a lot of the same information about getting them outside or taking them swimming. Not all of these ideas are extremely appealing to my kids. I prefer to propose activities that sell themselves. In my experience, here are a few ideas that are almost automatic and why.
Now, when I say playgrounds, I don’t mean the one’s that you build in your backyard or a playground at a park that has hardly any visitors. You need a playground that actually has a ton of traffic on a regular basis. Why? The social interaction that your kid will experience is what will keep their attention! Plus, they need to practice their social interaction skills, so you’re killing two birds with one stone. Some companies even have huge indoor playgrounds (not free) for you to take your kid too. When I was a kid, I wanted to go the local Discovery Zone all the time. If you don’t have these available, a local mall usually has an area that kids can play in. These get plenty of traffic. Local malls are also really good for when it gets too cold outside.
Set Up An Obstacle Course
I’m sure you can find quite a few things around the house to make an obstacle course out of. Boxes, blankets, pillows, crates, rope, you name it. Kids love a new challenge. This is also nice because you can switch it up and make it more challenging if you want. Rather than having them run through the obstacle course, I like to challenge them to something a little more difficult, like wheel barreling. I’ll just pick up their legs and they have to make their way through it on their hands only. It really tires them out. They could also roll, crawl, or create certain stations where they do a different activity. Get creative!
When I say console games, I mean the XBOX or PS3 type games. I recently discovered the XBOX Kinect, which is a genius idea. We put in a dancing game where you have to mock the dance moves the best you can. It really wore me out. They have dances for kids, too. Kids love to compete against their parents, so this works well. You can do so much more with the Kinect, though. They have sports games, fitness games, and more. PS3 also has their own version of the Kinect as well. It’s good stimulation, coordination, and fitness training!
Create A Regular Schedule
Create an activity that the whole family can participate in. This should be something outside, like taking a walk around the neighborhood, or going for a bike ride. If you have several children with a mix of age ranges where toddlers can’t do these activities, buy yourself a bike trailer so they can tag along. I encourage these kinds of activities because family bonding time is extremely important. If it’s on a schedule, it’s something for everyone to look forward to. Work to make this an enjoyable experience that everyone will like. Don’t force it. It’ll pay off.
Cristina Butler is a dedicated enthusiast in parenting topics. She also writes about the current top wagons for kids like the Radio Flyer Pathfinder. Follow her on Twitter (@WatchKidsGrow) for more parenting tips and ideas!