August is National Family Fun Month; pandemic or not, family remains to be a vital unit in the community, so ensuring their health is of utmost importance.
However, staying healthy and active presents a considerable challenge during these times of social distancing and home quarantine.
Parents and children alike are more prone to stick to a sedentary routine of eating, sleeping, and scrolling on their smartphones.
But wake up! Put that remote down and get your family moving because, according to studies, physical activity is crucial to stay healthy during this pandemic. It can:
- Boost your immune system
- Prevents weight gain
- Relieves stress and anxiety
So, it is time to bond healthily by doing some fun activities that will keep your energy up every day. Here are ten fun and healthy ways to keep an active family.
1. Family Exercise
Nothing gets your body moving better than a workout routine. Create a family habit by scheduling a 10 to 20-minute exercise session with the whole family. Make it as simple as possible so everyone, including the kids, get to join.
Seeing everyone exercising can motivate even the grumbliest teen. So, stick with a schedule until it becomes a part of your everyday routine.
Before you know it, they’ll be the one to wake you up and tell you that it’s time for the family morning exercise!
2. A Time to Play
Turn off the TV and allow at least 30 minutes of your day (3x a week) to play with your kids. Young ones respond well to playtime instead of a workout routine, so think of fun games that will also double as a physical activity for them.
You can try:
- Hide and seek
- Kiddie basketball
Have different kinds of fun games ready for them each week. A variety of activities lets kids explore what they want, which can turn into a hobby in the long run.
3. Learn a New Skill
Who says playtime can’t be educational? Let some fun times be as informative as possible by adding skill-learning activities with it.
You can let the kids learn outdoor-related skills like basic knot tying, climbing trees in the backyard, and treasure hunting.
These activities teach them (and you!) lifelong skills, as well as develop their teamwork and leadership capabilities.
4. Develop a Hobby
Do your kids always watch you when you cook or bake? Why not let them join in and have fun while also developing a hobby that they can be passionate about in the future.
They can strengthen their old hobby or try a new one. You can introduce them to several activities such as:
- Cooking and baking
- Playing an instrument
These activities not only mold their personality, but it also gets their body moving. Let them know that they can have fun and be healthy while also learning something worthwhile.
5. Introduce House Chores
Kids love to imitate everything that their parents do. More often than not, they also want to try and help you with simple house chores, so let them!
Ask them to do simple chores with you, such as folding the laundry, sweeping the floor, making their own bed, and setting the table.
Teach them what each chore means and why you need to do it. This way, they get to learn early on that chores are not something to be avoided. Moreover, these physical activities will get their bodies stretching and their heart pumping.
6. Feed the Mind
Being “active” does not pertain to the physical aspect alone. An active family should also encourage kids to exercise their brains by doing activities that boost their cognitive functions.
Do not push learning onto them. Let the kids lead the way and be there only to guide and teach them. You can suggest activities such as reading, memory flashcards, doodling, coloring, and drawing.
These simple brain exercises will improve their motor and sensory functions, coordination, organizational skills, intellect, memory, and critical thinking. It also helps kids develop their creativity, self-esteem, and confidence early on.
7. Shake Your Body
Put on your dancing shoes and make fun retro moves with your kids! Nothing gets your body moving and sweating like an afternoon dance-off with the fam.
Kids love swinging into the rhythm of their favorite music. They love it, even more, when adults join them, pick them up, and swing them in the air. You can teach them new moves or just make up your own thing.
If the kids love it, you can schedule dance sessions at least thrice a month and have a specific theme on each one to make it exciting.
8. Make Yard Work Fun Work
The seasonal yard work of pulling weeds and raking leaves do not need to be viewed as a chore. It can be a fun way of cleaning and bonding, as well as developing body strength and endurance for everyone.
Teach them how to do small outdoor chores on their own. Make it fun by playing some background music with little dances on the side while raking dried leaves.
Make it more fun by piling up dried leaves and jumping in it! Or make snow forts and snowball fights before shoveling all the snow.
Let the kids appreciate the starry night by setting up camp in your backyard. Teach them and let them be the ones to set-up their tent and make their beddings.
To complete their boy/girl scout-themed camping, make a backyard obstacle course for them using pillows, makeshift nets, hula hoops, and platforms. Make it feel like a real challenge by making it a timed activity.
Then afterward, share a meal around a wood fire and recount personal experiences of the obstacle course.
You don’t need to have a pool in the yard to enjoy swimming time. You can set-up the kids’ portable swimming pool and play with them in the water.
Teach the little ones how to swim and let the toddlers play pirates outside the pool. You can also just frolic in the water and shoot each other with water guns!
Water activities excite children, making them more likely to be physically active without them realizing it. Remember, an active family who plays together becomes healthy forever.