Oh, summer! Once school’s out, it’s always a struggle to try and keep the children entertained during summer break when mom and dad are off at work. This year has proved to be particularly challenging, but then again, we’ve never met a challenge that we couldn’t handle. Whether you’re at home full-time or only for a few hours a day, establishing a workout routine with your children is never a bad idea. In fact, it’s a great way to stay healthy and active all while bonding as a family. Here are some ideas to start you off on the right foot.
Before diving headfirst into any form of physical activity, it’s best to warm up: jumping rope, jogging in place or doing criss-cross drills are all great ways to get your blood pumping. Taking the time to warm up not only loosens your muscles, improves your flexibility and reduces the risk of injury but gradually increases your heart rate and breathing to a level that will be able to meet the demands of your workout.
Children should never skip their warm-up. Warming up will help them prepare the muscles in their body and get them in the right mindset to tackle the sport or activity. Keeping it simple is key. Straightforward warm-ups make it easier for your children to concentrate on each movement and focus on what they are doing. Once you’ve finished the warm-up, you can get straight into whatever activity you choose.
At-home outdoor obstacle course
Since many of us now have a lot more free time on our hands, some creative parents got the genius idea to create outdoor obstacle courses for their children. This idea spread like wildfire and turned out to be a huge hit. It sounds like a lot of fun, so why not give it a shot?
To create your own course, you will need some everyday items to use as obstacles. For example, you can get your children to jump over branches that you’ve laid out on the lawn or try challenging your older children to jump over old tires.
To keep things interesting, incorporate a hopscotch section or throw in some balance games using a balance board to help improve their agility. You may even want to try adding a training ladder or cones to improve footwork and increase foot speed for those aspiring soccer players in your life.
Why not make things even more interesting by incorporating some ball handling? You could have your children throw a basketball at a target three times or shoot a basket from a certain distance away. Sneak a few surprises up your sleeve to keep your children interested and coming back for more! Encourage some friendly competition by timing how long it takes each of your children to get through the course.
If you feel as though you could improve your family’s communication skills or if you just want to spend some more quality time together, why not give team sports a try? Soccer, baseball, basketball—the possibilities are endless.
Racket sports are a great way to bond with another member of the family. Pickleball is a perfect example. When playing doubles, the two players on the same side of the net must work together to outwit their opponents. Pickleball is an interesting cross between tennis and badminton—the rules are similar to tennis but it’s as easy to pick up as badminton. It’s a great option for siblings with a large age gap.
Dance and aerobics
If there’s one skill you should learn as a child, it’s how to “have rhythm.” Dancing is a great way to get active and have fun, so it’s no surprise that most children are immediately drawn to its appeal. Dancing is a fun way to burn off pent up energy without even realizing that you’re working out.
If you want to start dancing together as a family, come up with your own choreography and teach it to your children. Choose a song that everybody likes and throw in some funky dance moves that will score you a few laughs. Don’t forget to record your attempts so that you can watch the videos again in a few years and remember how much fun you had.
If you’re looking for something a little more high-energy, you can easily find tons of children’s exercise videos online. Be sure to make your exercise space comfortable by laying down an exercise mat. The mat will give you more stability during balancing exercises and absorb some of the impact of jumping.
Daily dose of fresh air
Tired of being cooped up inside? Is endlessly walking around the same block getting pretty old? Spice up your daily dose of fresh air by adding some wheels into the mix.
Scooters are a great option and have been all the rage over the past few years. If not everyone in the family has their own scooter, improvise by keeping up alongside each other on rollerblades or a skateboard. Switch things up to get your children excited about staying active. Exploring your neighbourhood by bike, scooter or on rollerblades is a great way to go further, see new things and amp up the cardio. It’s a great way to keep the whole family in shape! Just don’t forget to wear a helmet.