Maybe you go to the gym to exercise, or perhaps you have a treadmill at home. These are ideal ways for adults to stay fit, but it’s also important to keep kids physically active. While children do not need an exercise regimen, they do need to be active for at least one hour every day. Here are some low-cost and fun fitness options that parents and young kids can do as a family.
Lawn games are inexpensive, and if you’re handy, you could even make your own. A bean bag toss game helps young kids with their hand-eye coordination. It also gives the arms and legs a nice workout. Lawn bowling with plastic bowling pins and a beach ball or a lawn tic-tac-toe game could also be fun. Inflatable horseshoe sets could keep kids amused, too. Hula hooping has been around for decades, and it can burn up to 500 calories per hour.
Jumping rope is a great aerobic activity. There are jump ropes designed for kids ages five and older. There are also adult sizes. Some ropes are adjustable. You can also get weighted jump ropes. Consider getting two jump ropes of the same type and length for double-dutch jumping. You could have contests with your kids, such as who can do the most jumps in 30 seconds or who can jump the longest without tripping or stopping.
Scooting and Skating
Scooters are popular among children, and parents can also get in on the fun. Be sure to get a manual scooter because the electric type won’t help you burn many calories. Make sure the scooter’s handles are adjusted to the correct height. Roller skating and rollerblading are also options. There are adjustable child-size skates that grow with young kids. Be sure to put knee and elbow guards on kids, and strongly consider a protective helmet in order to prevent a serious head injury if the child falls.
Go on a family scavenger hunt through your neighborhood or a park. You could use a printable online scavenger hunt checklist or create your own. Customize your list for the seasons or months of the year. For example, a July scavenger hunt could include red, white and blue decorations, and an October scavenger hunt could include black cat decorations and carved pumpkins. The treasure at the end of the scavenger hunt could be a homemade ice cream cone or another favorite treat.
Go to the Playground
While a playground might just seem like a place for play, it can also be a place for fitness. Pumping your legs on the swings is a great workout. If your kids are still too young to get themselves going on the swings, pushing them will help you burn more calories. Climbing up the slide and other structures and running around are all excellent aerobic exercises. Consider bringing a Frisbee or ball to throw, too.