It is no secret that it is important for children to get lots of exercise every day. Some experts say that children should be getting a minimum of at least 1 hour of vigorous play per day. I would agree that should be a minimum number. I can remember the days when I would go outside and play all day- (8 hours or more.) Today is different though and it is increasingly difficult to get our children off the couch and off the video games and get them outside. This is one of the contributing factors for the dramatic increase in childhood obesity.
So what is the solution? Do we kick them out of the house and tell them not to come back till dinner? Probably not as I know I would not do that to my 6 and 7 year old daughters based on the potential safety issues. Get them involved in an organized sport perhaps? Sure that is a good idea, but then there is the argument that our kids today are heavily structured in organized activities which both cost money and involve me carting them around everywhere. I do believe that organized activities are great for kids, but have children forgotten how to go outside and play? Video games and Cable TV have made it too easy for kids to just sit there and do nothing.
Here are some ideas that may help. Here are some active games your kids can play. They are fun, they can do them at home and they will get some well need exercise in the process.
Game # 1 Fitness Bingo This game is played just like regular Bingo but exercises are added. First you need to design each letter in the word BINGO For example the letter "B" will = 10 Jumping Jacks, "I" will = 5 Push-ups and "N" will = a 20sec hamstring stretch. You get the idea. What happens is if when a BINGO number is called out and the player does not have that number on his or her board then they have to do that designated exercise.
Game # 2 Obstacle Course – This is something that can easily be done outside, inside or both. Simply set up a challenging course and run through it. It will be best to time the course to see if they can improve with each attempt.
Game # 3 Bowling Pin Relay- This is a game that involves a lot of running and some throwing skill as well. Take some of those plastic toy bowling pins or some plastic cups will do the trick. Place 5 or so in a row spread apart by about 3 feet. Next take a football or some other ball and run up to a designated spot about 15 feet from the row of pins and attempt to knock one pin down at a time. After each throw attempt the thrower must gather up ball and run it all the way back to a starting line some 25-35 feet behind the throw line. This is a great game for a larger group but can work with even just one player against the clock.
Games that you can do around the house that involve exercise are a great way to stay active and to do something different then sitting watching the television or playing a video game!