Did you know? Exercise can help kids build stronger bones, lower their blood sugar, and even give them a sunnier outlook on life! Kids model parents’ behaviour; establishing exercise as a regular part of your family’s routine can set your child up for an active lifestyle later in life.
One of the biggest mistakes that parents make when trying to incorporate exercise into their children’s lives is in seeking too much structure. Sure, your child may enjoy joining a little league team, but relying solely on classes and rules can teach your child that exercise is strict and regimented. It can also take a lot of the fun, spontaneity, and magic out of being active.
That’s why we’re big proponents of family exercise. Exercising as a family can get the whole family up and moving, and provide some quality family time while doing so. Plus, exercise is not only good for kids: it’s good for parents, too!
If you’re interested in making exercise a part of your family’s life but are unsure where to start, you’ve come to the right place. Here are our 3 favourite family fun exercise ideas to get your whole family moving together.
1. Get out and explore nature!
For kids, the whole world is new and exciting. Nature is no exception. It’s chock full of plants, trees, bugs, and animals that they never knew existed. A nature walk around your neighbourhood can certainly keep your child captivated, but taking them out to explore in nature will blow their minds.
Hikes are one of the favourite ways to go out and exercise with the whole family. Remember to let your little ones set the pace. Exercise with the family isn’t about maintaining an elevated heart rate and breaking a sweat. It’s about teaching your kids that running, jumping, walking, and climbing is fun, and there’s a whole world out there for them to explore!
Remember to pack snacks and plenty of water. It’s also great to bring along a notebook for your kids to note their favourite finds. If your kids are particularly active, you may even want to don your best trail running shoes to make sure you can keep up!
2. Learn something new!
Kids often feel like their parents know everything. And while sometimes that can be reassuring, it can sometimes feel a little annoying, too. Why not teach your kid humility by learning something new right along with them?
This can take the form of any activity. Have you ever tried rollerblading? How about racquetball? Foursquare? Tetherball? Soccer? Pick something new and learn with the whole family. Better yet, let your kids help you decide!
Your kids will love to see you fumble right along with them. Once you’ve all mastered the skill, you can celebrate as a team. Plus, you may just find your family’s new favourite thing!
3. Dance Party!
There is truly nothing more silly and fun than a family dance party. All you need to do is make a playlist of your family’s favorite tunes. Compile a list of those tunes your kids can’t stop singing. Plus, add some of your favorite family friendly bops on three, too! This is a great time to introduce your kids to some classic oldies. “Twist and Shout”, anyone?
Now, all you’ve got to do is move and groove! Dance-offs are a great way to get moving while showing off to the whole fam. Or, get a little competition going with a game of freeze dance. The rules are simple; everyone’s got to get up and get dancing! As soon as the music stops, everyone has to freeze! You can either play DJ and toggle the pause button on and off, or you can find a freeze dance playlist online with the pauses built right in.
Remember, exercise doesn’t have to have a lot of rules. While competitive games with lots of rules like football may captivate your attention, they can be too confusing for kids. They may even squelch your children’s creative spirit. When it comes to exercising with the whole family, there’s really just one rule that everyone needs to follow: have fun!