When you’re on a health and fitness journey, you may look back and wish you could have developed a love for fitness at an earlier age. While you can’t go back in time to tell your younger self to prioritize fitness, you can help your children develop a love for movement.
You may be wondering how to get your kids off the couch and moving around. I have some tips on how to make exercise fun for your kids!
Instead of going out and buying your kids the latest video game, buy them toys that will encourage physical activity!
Take the kids to the store and let them pick out a toy. The only catch is this: make the toy something that will keep them active! Then, when the kids get home from school, you can send them to the backyard to play with their new toy.
Some ideas of toys that will keep the kids active include footballs, soccer balls, basketballs, a whiffle ball and bat, or a frisbee. Even an outdoor toy like a bike, scooter, kite, hula hoop, bubbles, and sidewalk chalk (which could be used for hopscotch) are great ways to get the kids outside and get them moving!
Enroll Kids in Active Extracurriculars
Whether you’re signing them up for the T-ball team or dance classes, enrolling your child in sports or other active extracurriculars offers the same benefits that you get from classes or a gym membership. They’re not only getting a great workout in, but they’re also improving their teamwork skills, social development, and mental health.
There are sports teams and leagues for kids, like soccer, t-ball, peewee football, basketball, etc. These are not just great exercises; they also teach kids things like the value of teamwork and healthy competition.
If you or your child isn’t interested in team sports or competitions, you may also consider enrolling them in activities that can be competitive or non-competitive. Things like martial arts or swimming lessons are great ways to help kids stay active, and life skills like self-defense and the ability to swim are added bonuses!
And if you have a girly girl who isn’t into sports, she can still get a good workout with things like dance, cheer, and gymnastics. Most of the time, there are competitive and non-competitive options for each of those activities.
So, make a list of activities available in your area and doable with your schedule and finances, and let your child pick one he or she wants to do!
Make Exercise Fun
No one wants to do something that feels like a chore, especially not your child. So, make exercise something that your child looks forward to.
One way that you can do this is by making exercise a reward. So, rather than telling your child they have to do some kind of physical activity for 30 minutes before they can play video games or play on their tablet, tell them that once they get their homework done, they can go in the backyard and play, run around, etc.
Another thing you can do is find fun ways for your child to get daily exercise in. Turn exercise into a game—have the kids play tag, hide and seek, the floor is lava, etc.
YouTube is also full of fun exercise videos for kids. And, no, I’m not saying you have to listen to Baby Shark over and over again. Check out the Koo Koo Kangaroo, the Freeze Dance, and Going on a Bear Hunt for some kid-friendly dance party workouts.
If you still have one, pull out your Wii and have the kids play games like Wii Sports or Just Dance. And if the kids have a Nintendo Switch, buy them a game that will get them moving, like Nintendo Switch Sports. These are fun ways to exercise, and the kids will still feel like they’re playing a video game!
Make Family Time Actives
Swap a family movie night out for an activity that will get the whole family moving. For example, you could go for a walk as a family or take a family bike ride. Mills Park, Tyndall Park, and Sunset Lake all have great paths to get moving on foot or bikes.
And if it’s a special occasion and you’re willing to spend some money, the kids will love activities like bowling, mini golf, rock climbing, or going to the skating rink.
And as an added bonus, not only will all these things promote staying active for the whole family, but they will also get out of having to watch Frozen for the millionth time.
Set an Example
Another great way to inspire a love of movement in your kids is to display it yourself!
By making your own health and fitness journey a priority, you can teach your kids the value of adding fitness to your daily routine. Your child looks up to you, so when they see you working out, they’ll want to, too!
Starting a healthy lifestyle for your family starts with you. Follow these tips to experience numerous health benefits and turn exercise into a habit for you and your family!