Want to get your family moving? Tempt kids with irresistible active play. If you join in, your children are more likely to want to participate. Plus, you'll reap fitness benefits from these easy activities too.
1. Hit the playground for instant active play.
Most kids can't help but move their muscles when faced with a tempting array of climbers, swings, and slides. Sandbox play counts too; all that digging and scooping is great for the arms. Mix things up more by:
- Bringing some extra toys (balls, kites, jump ropes)
- Meeting another family and playing together
- Playing obstacle course—chart out a wacky route and see who can do it the fastest
- Trying out a new playground to check out its offerings—anything different from your usual haunts?
2. Teach classic backyard games.
3. Have some good clean fun.
Tackling housework together is more fun than doing it alone, takes less time, and gets everyone up and moving. Older kids can vacuum and mop; littler ones can dust and wipe. Everyone can help sort laundry or move it from one machine to another (extra points for hanging it outside on the line!). Outside, take on sweeping, raking, weeding, digging, or watering chores together.
4. Host a dance party.
This works indoors, outdoors, anywhere, anytime. All you need is some jammin' music. If you start shaking your groove thing, your kids will clamor to join in. For extra incentive, bring out some dress-up items for props (filmy scarves, silly hats, or feather boas are perfect).
Take a family stroll after dinner (try a walking game for more active play), walk to school and back, take your dog on a spin around the block, do errands on foot or park at the far end of the parking lot. Consider outfitting the whole family with inexpensive pedometers, then tracking your steps together. Set goals and reward yourselves with a family outing (bowling, batting cages, etc.).