In a recent Facebook post, I asked friends to give me some ideas of what they would like to see on this blog. I got several wonderful ideas, and this topic was one of them…workouts you can do with your kids! While I don’t have kids myself, I’ve tried to put myself in parental shoes and think of some fun workouts that don’t actually feel like workouts…that’s right, gotta trick them into exercising! (Haha…you probably don’t have to trick your kids, but just in case…!)
1. The Dice Game
I saw this idea in a magazine about a year ago and it’s perfectly translatable to a family workout. You need two dice…get them from a board game or make it fun and get blow up dice or fuzzy mirror dice! You also need something to write on…paper, marker board…something everyone can see. Make a list, numbered 2 thru 12 (if using 2 dice) or 1 thru 5 (if using 1 dice, and then assign a different task to each number (below is an example, you can also make up your own)! Then make it fun…if you have 2 kids, let each one roll 5 times. With each roll, the number you land on is the exercise on your list you do. For example, if I rolled a 6, on the list below that would be crunches. Do them for one minute, then roll the dice again. So 2 kids and 5 rolls means you’d do 10 minutes worth of exercise. Feeling rowdy? Do 10 rolls per kid! You can also assign a certain number to each exercise too, like 25 crunches, 30 push-ups, etc!
This is a fun one when the weather is warm. Start by going on a walk around the block, the neighborhood, a high school track, etc. Then as you’re going along, pick a spot ahead of you and race your kids there. BUT WAIT! Don’t just run…you can run to “warm up,” then get creative. Race them in skipping, frog jumping, lunging, the moon walk…anything. Go for 20 minutes and you’ve had a complete workout with cardio and muscle building!
3. Backyard Obstacle Course
This is another fun one to get outdoors. Get creative with all the stuff in your backyard and create an obstacle course for the kids. Use lawn chairs, sidewalk chalk, stairs on the deck or front porch, etc. You can even use sprinklers or a slip-and-slide in the summer! Time them to see who can do it faster and do it with them to see if they can beat you!
4. Random Dancing
I’m going to embarrass myself and say that I saw this on iCarly…a tv show on Nickelodeon. At various points during an internet show the main characters were filming, a voice would yell random dancing and the characters would bust out in wild and fun dance moves for 1 minute. This is a fabulous idea to do with your kids! If they have been inside all day (rain day, video games, etc), turn on the radio, iPod, etc for 1 minute, yell random dancing, and make them get up and dance around! If everyone is having fun, keep going! Try doing it several times a night and see how many minutes of dancing you can get in! I’ve seen a lot of posts on Facebook of parents and their kids just dancing around randomly to the tv or the radio. It’s fun, it’s a cardio workout, and can also create some fun memories!
5. Popsicle Stick Workouts
This is one I saw on Pinterest, but it was a really cute idea…especially for younger kids. You put an exercise on a popsicle stick, and put it in a cup that says exercise (of course you will fill up this cup with several popsicle sticks with different exercises on them). Use the exercises from the Dice Game or make up your own! Have a kid pick a stick at random from the cup, and everybody do what is on that stick. When you’ve finished the exercise, you move it to a done cup. You can pick a few a day, a few a week, one a day…whatever works! You can also make a deal with your kids; if you finish the cup in the month they will get a reward! I would generally say stay away from food rewards, but they’re kids…give them ice cream!
(This picture came from a post on PopSugar that had another list of workouts for kids!)
These are 5 fun games to play with your kids, have fun and make memories! There are several other options as well…but are less tricky when it comes to actual exercise.
-Run bleachers at a high school track
-Shoot hoops in the driveway
-Hopscotch in the driveway
-Family bike rides
-Roller skating/blading around the neighborhood
-Walk around the block (take the dogs!)
These are just a few more ideas of things kids and adults can do for exercise as a family. As always, you can go to Pinterest and find some more ideas or some different ways to do these with your kids. It’s important for your kids to learn that exercise is fun and beneficial; and with you right there with them, it’ll leave a lasting impression and help build lifelong habits.