Remaining an active family this time of year may feel like a challenge. While school is still in session, your child may not have had the ability to return to play or return to after-school activities. Therefore, it’s easy for physical health to go out the window—especially when kids are buried under a mountain of homework, studying for pre-Christmas break tests, and distracted by their electronic devices.
Thankfully, there are plenty of creative ways for kids to get moving once the last school bell rings. Here are a few fun tips to add to your calendar for the fall!
Take family walks.
Get your family into the habit of taking walks in the neighborhood after dinner. Not only will kids get some fresh air and exercise, but it’s a great opportunity to bond! Make a list of items to ‘seek’—the first to mark off all items wins! Example: red bird, Christmas wreath, yellow car, dog on a leash, etc.
Go on nature hikes around the neighborhood and back yard!
Hikes may not get your heart pumping as much as soccer practice, but they’re a great opportunity to sneak in some physical activity while bird watching or looking for collectibles to use for craft projects. Great local trails to walk include the Mandalay Nature Trail, Southdown On-Road Loop & Off-Road Trail, Peltier Park, Ward’s Creek Trail, and the Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve just to name a few!
Ever played four-square, hopscotch, or jump rope?
Encourage “old-school” games from your childhood! Do you remember when you used to play games of pick-up basketball with the neighbors? There’s no reason why you can’t pass your childhood games onto the next generation. Parents, get out your old jump ropes and challenge your children to a little double-dutch!
Take the stairs.
Encourage the whole family to skip the elevators and escalators for stairs.
Put on a YouTube tutorial. Yes, that thing that often keeps children from any physical activity can also be a source of great (and free) exercise for all different ages! Check out kid-friendly exercise tutorial videos on YouTube. Examples to check out on youtube.com include: 20 Online, Cosmic Kids Yoga, Debbie Doo Kids TV, and Power Girl Fitness to name a few! •