Children spend up to 55 hours a week in front of an electronic screen. This can have a negative effect on their health and weight. Get them off the couch with these clever and fun ideas – and get them to exercise without even realising it. Lead by example and shed a few kilos yourself, too!
1. Organise a treasure hunt
Don’t wait for Easter to hide treasures in the garden. Get creative and transform your living space into an exciting obstacle course. Don’t make it too easy though; make your children climb, crouch and reach to find the clues to the treasure.
2. Build a Fort
Get your kids to build a protective fort against a tidal wave or an imaginary enemy. Use cardboard boxes, newspapers, branches or anything else in your house that’s available. This is perfect for rainy days or night-time fun.
3. Climb a Tree
Challenge your little ones to see how high they can climb a tree in your garden, or get Dad to build them a treehouse. Climbing is very good exercise, as you use all of your limbs. But remember: safety first! Don’t let them climb the tree without your supervision.
4. A fast Game of Hide-and-seek
Hide-and-seek is a classic favourite. Put a limit on the search time to ensure your children run around every few minutes.
5. Grow a Garden
Encourage your kids to have respect for nature, get their hands dirty and be active at the same time. Everyone can choose their favourite flowers, vegetables or herbs and take responsibility for their own little patch. Pushing the wheelbarrow, working in compost with a digging fork or weeding their garden will get the blood pumping!
6. Hold a Hula Hoop Contest
On a rainy day you can initiate a Hula Hoop contest. See who can keep going the longest and give a prize to the winner. Have a few practice rounds first to get into the game.
7. Throw a Frisbee
Playing with a Frisbee is excellent exercise! You run more than you would expect and you have fun doing it. A Frisbee game needs ample space, so play in the park or on the beach.
8. Hold a Dance-off
This is another indoor activity you can do in the evening. Move the furniture away to make space, and turn up the music. Give everyone a chance to pick a song and sing along. Teach them funny dance moves and take turns to mimic one another.
9. Fly a Kite
If you live in a windy area a kite is a great way to enjoy the outdoors. It will involve lots of running, concentration and laughter!
10. Go for a Photo walk
Take the camera, walk out the front door and capture everything you see. It might be the clouds, a tree, a car or anything you or the children find interesting enough to photograph. In no time you will have walked all around the neighbourhood, exercised and not even realised it!