It is becoming increasingly common for children to grow up in a two-parent household where both of their parents work and today, more than half of them work full-time too. Constantly being in a rush, feeling tired and stressed are all completely understandable, however, giving children time and attention is extremely important for their growth and development.
Spending quality family time is something that should not be overlooked and since it can greatly impact a child’s emotional and social maturity, not to mention that it creates a stronger family bond and establishes deeper understanding and connection among family members.
Having parents that are present in their lives can greatly shape a child’s personality and this is why parents need to take time and be with their kids. Even if it is just spending time together at home, doing something as simple as talking or sharing a meal, all of it can create opportunities for family bonds to become stronger and for children to grow up happy and well-adjusted.
There are many fun things families can do together at home, but perhaps one of the more beneficial activities is getting your child to exercise with you. Living in the digital age has, unfortunately, made kids less active than before, so what better way to get them away from technology than to do an activity that is both fun and great for their health.
Here are some great ideas on how you can combine exercise, fun, and spending quality time with your kids.
1. Have Fun Doing Household Chores
Turn chores into fun games for younger children, for example, hiding their favorite toy and pretending it is a treasure that can only be found once all the items on a list are complete. Add all the chores they can do to that list.
Picking up their toys can turn into a race of who can pick up more and folding laundry can become a fun guessing game of what clothes belong to which family member. These may seem like simple activities but they will get your children moving while teaching them how to be neat, clean, and how to help around the house at the same time.
2. Turn Up the Music and Dance
Is there anything more fun than dancing together while listening to music? You can be silly and simply move around to the beat or you can let your child come up with a choreography you can then dance to together.
Move the furniture aside, take turns picking your favorite songs, and dance as much as your heart desires. This activity is especially great for extremely energetic children.
3. Create Sports Nights
Choose one day of the week for sports night. There are so many things you can do like creating cards that contain family-friendly exercises. Take turns picking a card, performing an exercise, and playing the game until all the cards are gone.
You can create a friendly competition between parents and children. Pick an exercise such as bear-crawling, lunges, squats, planking, and pull-ups and see who can do more or last longer. Use a board, mark down all the scores, and do not forget to announce the winner at the end of the night.
You can even use props. For example, you can jump rope and count the number of jumps each member performs.
Another great item you can use is an indoor trampoline for kids. Have your children jump on it and see who can complete more jumps in a certain time frame. They will surely have a lot of fun and will probably use it even outside of game nights.
They are a great way for your kids to spend their energy in a safe, controlled environment since most trampolines come with a handle your child can hold onto and you can even get one with an enclosure net to further ensure their safety. They are undoubtedly great for getting your children to exercise, so if you are interested in learning more about indoor trampolines, you can read more here.
4. Make Commercial Breaks Fun
If you spend family nights watching movies or family shows, you can turn commercial breaks into a small workout session. You can play a game of Simon Says or Follow the Leader and tell your children to perform simple activities such as jumping jacks or sit-ups.
You can switch and have your children command others what to do. Consider inventing funny or silly names for all exercises to make it more interesting. Even easy moves like clapping or marching are great for their health and well-being. Since commercial breaks tend to be lengthy, have a good time until what you are watching resumes.
5. Work out While Cleaning Up the Yard or Gardening
Raking up leaves in autumn can be a group effort after which you can take turns jumping into the leaf pile or covering each other up in them. If it is windy, you can try and catch different colored leaves and see who can do it faster.
Kids can help clean the porch or walkway after a snowfall and then you can go ahead and make snow angels, build a snowman, or even better, have a snowball fight.
If you enjoy planting flowers or have a small vegetable garden, you can let your children help you take care of it. They will not only move around but breathe in some fresh air too. During summertime, work together to set up sprinklers and then have a great time trying to dodge the stream of water droplets.
The Importance of Being Active
While quality family time improves a child’s mental health, helps them develop social skills and confidence, fosters communication and bonding, and most importantly makes them feel loved, exercising helps fight diseases, improves behavior and sleep, and develops healthy habits.
After all, nothing is more important than your child’s health, happiness, and safety, and being together while being active are the best ways to raise a happy child that will flourish and contribute positively to society once they grow up.