Now that school has begun you might find it more difficult to get your kids excited about fitness. In order to decrease their chances of developing childhood obesity, children between the ages of 5 and 12 should be physically active for at least one hour a day. Kids over the age of 12 are encouraged to increase that activity to two hours. If your child is not involved in sports or his school is cutting back on recess or physical education here are five fun fitness games that you can introduce to your child at home.
Have your child turn his body into an exercise machine with this fun muscle building game.
What you will need: Paper and a Pen
Create a fitness chart with your child with the days of the week on the top and different exercises on the side. Your children can chose their own exercises to do each day. Examples are: jumping jacks, running in place, toe touches, sit ups, and push ups. Get creative with your child and have him come up with his own exercises.
Start slow on the first day with 3-5 repetitions for each exercise. Mark how many your child did on the chart for each day. Slowly increase the repetitions each day.
Ten Coin Pick-up
What you will need: 10 coins, bowl or small container, paper, pencil or pen, and a stopwatch
Have your child scatter the coins on the floor just a few feet in front of her. Place the bowl or container next to the coins. Using the stopwatch, see how long it takes her to pick up the coins with her toes and put them into the container. Write down your child’s time. Your child can compete with herself or her siblings or friends and see who can do it the fastest.
Find other creative ways to pick up the coins. For example you can see who can pick them up the fastest using just their left hand. This game helps children develop dexterity and balance.
What you will need: a flying disk such as a Frisbee, and a Hula hoop
Throwing a Frisbee or other flying disk around the yard to friends or a dog is great exercise and can be a lot of fun too. By adding a Hula hoop to this your kids can add a friendly competition to this popular game. Have someone hold the Hula hoop up five feet away from the person with the flying disk. Practice throwing the disk through the hoop at further distances.
How Many Steps?
What you will need: a pair of tennis shoes and a safe place to walk.
Get your kids thinking with this fun game that encourages walking and movement. How many steps does it take to get from the front door to the driveway? How many steps does it take to walk around your block or to get from the bathroom to the living room? How many steps does it take for mom to get from the bathroom to the living room compared to her child? Why are the steps different? Your child can get creative with this game and even write down his results.
Throw a Dance Party
What you will need: a radio, mp3 player, CD player, computer or anything that plays music and a large room or space to move around in.
My kids love to dance and dancing is a great way to get their hearts pumping and their bodies moving.
Play some fun kid-friendly songs and start moving to the music with your kids. Encourage them to move different parts of their bodies. You can also make it more fun by stopping the music periodically and telling them to “freeze.” Then you can restart the music and let the dancing continue.
The best way to get your kids interested in fitness is if you exercise and play with them. Every kid will agree that when mom and dad join in on the play it is a lot more fun.
About This Author
Cascia Talbert is a busy blogger, publisher, freelance writer, online merchant and mother of five children, living in The Pacific Northwest. With a B.A. in history and law and a passion for writing and staying healthy, she started The Healthy Moms Magazine in 2007. The Healthy Moms Magazine is currently ranked the top health blog for moms and features several health expert writers and mom bloggers. Ms. Talbert believes that if mothers are well educated on health issues and how to stay healthy, they can pass that information down to their children and reverse the childhood obesity statistics in the U.S.
Ms. Talbert is a featured health blogger at Wellsphere.com and her articles can also be found on ezinearticles.com. She also runs the Healthy Moms Social Network on Ning, manages Mom’s Natural Health and Wellness Store, and is on the Social Media Advisory Board for America’s Wellness Challenge.