Laura Celada Quib.ly’s Editorial intern London, GB
Looking for ideas to unplug your children? With the charm of television, computers, tablets, smartphones or other electronic devices, that can be a danger that the only exercise some kids get is with their thumbs. The best antidote to resolve this inertia is just you.
As a parent, the more you exercise, the more active your child will be. The truth is that if they see you enjoying, they are more likely to want to do it too. Making fitness and movement a game can keep children and adults of all ages motivated. So keep this list of fun and engaged activities to get your entire clan moving. The best part? You'll all be having too much fun to realise that you're getting healthy!
Remember doing treasure hunts as a kid in the back garden? Well, geocaching is a modern take on the same principle, only it uses technology, to help participants find the hidden treasure. Using a handheld GPS device, navigate to a cache stashed in your area (find them at geocaching.com), and set out with your family, following coordinates that bring you within a 20 foot radius of the cache. Promising a fun challenge for children (and adults), geocaching provides terrific exercise. It encourages your kids to get out, offers a chance to test their mental agility, explore different environments and learn about ecology. What type of geocacher will you become?
2. Just Dance
If the weather outside has foiled your plans, never fear. Let’s wiggle and Just Dance! The most popular dance videogame is a great way to get everyone in your family active, entertained, and having fun. There are songs for everyone, from toddlers to teens, and some challenging dance moves that even this adults have quite a fun time mastering. If you need a remedy for the lack of exercise, especially during the winter time, compete in the dance floor and shake your body!
Over 40-years-old, this classic party game is still stronger than ever. To play, (if you didn’t already know..), you will have to spin the spinner, listen to the body part and colour that the referee calls out and move it on the mat. 'Left foot, yellow; right hand, blue...' Sounds easy but especially when played with children, they never seem to pick the easy option and soon you’ll find yourself reaching around the other players and stretching a long way to follow the directions. Twister combines the benefits of a board game and exercise to increase everyone's physical activity. Are there any game to bring your family closer together? So tap into that and get them twisted up in knots!
4. Kinect Rush
If you are wondering whether doing exercise-based video games count as a workout, the right answer is yes, of course! Kinect Rush invites families and fans of all ages to experience the worlds of five beloved Disney Pixar films like never before. Kids throw, climb, steer, swing, and run all over the place while exploring a variety of games set in favorite Pixar movies. It allows anyone to instantly become part of the action and work with a friend to solve puzzling obstacles or find hidden secrets. What’s cooler than being a Pixar character?
5. Play in the backyard
When your child's friends come over, there's no reason to be worried even if the video consoles don’t work. Why don’t try one of those classical games that you and your parents used to play? Backyard games include hide and seek, bull rush, freeze tag, follow the leader, three-legged relays, jumping over a rope or red rover. They allow children to be noisy and messy, physically challenge themselves and move in ways that aren’t possible indoors. Teach your kids how to play and see if they can create their own versions or inventions. Is there an adult alive who doesn't have great memories of playing them?
6. Wii Sports Resorts
Although sometimes too much technology can be to blame for a lack of exercise, there are many doctors out there who say playing active games such as Wii Sports Resorts can help keep children healthy. Since WiiFit came out just over three years ago, it’s become a great way to get the whole family moving and a fun addition to your exercise routine. In this version, kids dive into 12 different activities, including cycling, basketball, bowling, frisbee, and golf. They will love the sheer number of options and that hard work unlocked new levels. If you’re in need of an active vacation, then Wii Sports Resort is the place to go!
7. Fitness games
Think outside the gym box and bring back the fun games you loved as a kid. Some ideas to get you started could be hopscotch, hula hoops, and jumping rope. Set up different stations and have the whole family rotate through the stations. If you have more people than stations have a few family members do sprints, jumping jacks, or kick a ball to one another while waiting for the next station to open up. A half hour of fitness games can burn 350 calories!
8. Set a family goal
One of the best ways to get and stay physically active is to set goals. Don't forget about kicking it old school fitness-wise and using what they most love as a reward. Get outside. Play a game of soccer. Run laps around your track. Chase each other at the playground. Go for a walk, a run or a hike. Just get out and get moving. Set a goal for the family that if you each participate in 30 minutes of real, physical activity as a family four days per week, you can play a fun video game. Or make it an even larger goal and use your physical activity points to save up to buy a fun family video game. Kids love rewards, so get healthy and have fun!
What do you do to keep your kids healthy and active?