In the past, going outdoors to play was the norm. Video games, smartphones and iPads had not been invented yet. A tablet was something to write on with a pencil!
While technology is great when used the correct way, it has created a generation of obese or at least overweight children. Use these 6 ways to get outside with your kids and teach them the value of exercising.
Obstacle Course– It doesn’t have to be fancy. Use commonly found objects around the house that let kids jump, run, crawl and climb. A ladder, some cement blocks and a board, a cardboard box tunnel, etc. Think outside the box and you’ll have a whole course set-up in no time.
Hiking– Disguised as a scavenger hunt, this is a classic way to get your kids out in the sun and fresh air. Hide some things along a trail for them to find. Give your kid a list of clues on how to find each of the items. Soon they will like “hiking” and never even know they are doing it.
Geocoaching– Almost the same as a scavenger hunt, but for kids a little older. Use the GPS technology and the clues found on geocoaching sites on the Internet to find hidden objects. One good place to start is at http://Geocoaching.com. At last count there were 1,676,355 caches around the world.
Running – Here again, if you disguise it as something else, they will be running and not know it. Remember playing tag as a kid. You and your kids can still do that today, or how about hide-and-seek. Both games require running, but it isn’t the boring kind that us adults do!
Sports– Most sports require some type of moving around. At first, keep the competitiveness out of it until your kids understand the rules of playing. Slowly introduce the competitive angle into it and you just gave them a lifetime of challenge. Badminton, basketball, tennis, soccer, kickball or dodgeball are all good sports that will keep them moving for the duration of the game.
Lawn Games– These games require the players to switch sides after each game. Lawn darts, bean bag toss, bocce ball and an all-time favorite Blongo Ball, are easy to set-up and play, but still provide a lot of exercise.
Getting out and running around with your kids will not only do them a lot of good, but also yourself. The sun, fresh air and exercise will have them (and you) sleeping like babies!