Kid tested and parent approved ideas! 8 Proven Ways to Stay Fit and Have Fun as a Family
We packed our lunches and set off to the park to enjoy the glorious Saturday!
When we arrived our boys challenged us to a game of kickball.
After a while, we took a break and lounged around on the grassy knoll making shapes with the puffy clouds over us.
Before we knew it our tummies were growling. We sat around the towel turned into a blanket and enjoyed our simple wheat bread sandwiches.
This is what we call a simple family fun fitness day. It didn’t cost us anything and we got some exercise. We enjoyed the outdoors and played together. I even got to squeeze in some reading. You probably envision weights and aerobic exercise when you think of fitness activities. And you probably don’t even think of fun. Well fitness activities are not limited to only that type of exerise.
I am always looking for ways to get my kids off the coach and enjoying the outdoors. Our family game nights or famly weekends are filled with these fun family fitness activities. You can even use them in your homeschool to get some physical education into your day.
Turn Fitness into Family Fun
Note, “track” doesn’t necessarily mean an official running track but it’s any area that is marked off with clear boundaries.
- Play Tag. Go to a track and then have your child try to chase you around the track. If he tags you then you’re it and you still stay on the track and you try to tag him.
- Wet Cops and Robbers. Go to a track or a park with an area where there’s a trail. Assign who is going to be the cop and who is going to be the robber then squirt each other with a water gun if it’s hot outside.
- Pass the Baton. Outline the area where you will run and pass the baton. It can be in a straight line or on a track course. Have your child go to one end of your outline area. Run to your child holding the baton and then pass it to them and they take it back to where you were. You can time yourselves. Add a twist to it and skip to each other instead of running or jump rope to each other.
- Uno Fitness– Before hand, the Uno card had an assigned exercise. Get a pile of Uno cards and have each child pick a card. Then have each child tell the group what color card he got and what exercise is assigned to that color. So if he got a blue card then that one was assigned 10 jumping jacks. If they got a WILD card then they chose the exercise. Assign 2 minutes of the exercise to each card. Feel free to change the time to whatever is appropriate for your child’s age and ability.
- Nerf Gun. Go around a track and one person is given a gun and their job is to run around the track and shoot the other person. Once that person is shot they change.
- Obstacle Course. We found a park with a fun playground area and we turned it into our obstacle course. We had the kids jump over the tires, skip around the playground, crawl through the tunnels and slide down to end. You can turn anything into an obstacle course. Bring along a few props like water bottles and rope.
- Last man out. If your kids are still at the age where they can’t handle losing then you may want to try another game. With this game, the children run around your track as many times as you choose and then you say, “The last man is out.” So the person to get to the “finish” line is out. You keep doing that until you have one child left.
- Water Balloon Fight! Give them a balloon for every lap they run or 10 minutes they are exercising. At the end of your fitness activity let them fill up their balloons with water and play!
- Organized Game. Your game does not need to be an official game with all of the rules in place. Instead come up with your own rules that will work with your child’s age and play a game of soccer, basketball or ultimate frisbee. All of these games definitely get you moving!
- Shark and Minnows Game. Mark off a rectangular area with clear boundaries. You need one person to be it. That person is the shark and will stand in the middle. Have them run from one side to the other without getting caught after the shark yells, “Come minnows!”. If the shark tags a minnow then they stand in the middle with the shark and help tag.
Benefits of Staying Fit as a Family
I honestly believe the family that plays together stays together. Remember the focus here is not about losing weight but it’s about family fitness fun. Through play you are staying fit and connecting with your children. It gives us opportunities to discover new things about each other. We also get to model good sportsmanship and help our kids learn how to be good team players. Not to mention, you’re getting exercise and sunshine.
My hope is to get my children having so much fun they don’t even know they are staying fit in the process.