by Lillian MacNell
The weather is getting warmer (finally!) and the end of school is right around the corner. It’s a great time to get outdoors and get moving. Summer can also be a time when parents are used to hearing the dreaded “I’m bored!” from kids. At the same time, it can be hard to encourage kids to get away from TVs and phones. Here are some ways to get kids to play and move around a bit more—the best part is, kids will have so much fun, they won’t even notice they are getting some exercise! These can be done outside on nice days, and some can even be done inside when it’s rainy or too hot to go out.
Balloon Tennis: Blow up a balloon and use paper plates as “tennis rackets.” Try to keep the balloon off the ground as long as possible! You can also play catch with the balloon
Follow the Leader:–Take turns leading the rest of the kids (parents can play, too!) around the yard or house, and everyone must copy what the leader does. Try jumping, skipping, squatting, and spinning!
Hopscotch: Use sidewalk chalk or tape to make a hopscotch game on your floor or outside your building. Use can also use the squares of a tile floor and use a rolled up sock or soft ball instead of a rock!
Animal Races: Waddle like a duck, hop like a frog, jump like a kangaroo—and see who can get to the end of the race fastest!
Dance Party: Turn up your favorite music and DANCE! You can also make this a Freeze Dance game, too: when the music stops, everyone must freeze and hold their pose until the music starts again.
Tickle Tag: Just like normal tag, except you don’t just get tagged—you get tickled!
Giant Tag: Put your hands on your hips and take the biggest step you can—this is one “giant step.” Play tag where everyone can only walk like a giant.
Clean-up Race: Put on a song and race to see who can pick up the most before it’s over.
Hallway Bowling: Line up empty water bottles or soda cans and use a rolled-up pair of socks to go bowling! For a bigger challenge, fill the bottles with a little water and use a soft ball, instead.
Jumping Jacks: On a rainy day when everyone is stuck inside, see how many jumping jacks everyone can do during one song (or during a commercial break)!
Wheelbarrow Races: One person walks on his hands while another person holds his legs. See how fast you can move like this, or race if you have more people!
Hot Lava: Lay pieces of scrap paper on the floor, or draw squares on the ground outside. The paper is safe, and the rest is hot lava! See who can get across the room or yard the fastest.
Spider Walk: Walk on your hands and feet (no knees on the ground!) and have a race or just see how well you can get around.
Check out this video from the North Carolina Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program for more tips!
Did you and your kids have fun with these activities? Do you have any ideas for other “sneaky” exercise games for kids? Let us know on our Facebook page!