Physical activity for kids is necessary to build strength, coordination, and confidence and to start having a healthy lifestyle. Regular physical activity can help children improve cardiorespiratory fitness, build strong bones as well muscles, control weight and reduce the risk of having health problems.
There are activities, sports, games and a variety of things to do for kids that fit their personality, ability, age, and interests. Think about the activities that are enjoyable and also ensure fitness. Kids won't mind a daily fitness regime as long as it's fun.
Here are some of the suggested activities:
1. Jumping jacks
You can start by making them do 20 to get the blood flowing. They would have fun doing these on a trampoline. It would get a lot better with music!
2. Don’t let the balloon fall
Just blow up some balloons and tell the kids not to let them touch the floor. This can also be played when your kids’ friends have come over. It can be played like an elimination round. Whoever isn’t able to keep the balloon up is out from the game. Last one standing wins!
3. Scavenger Hunt
Scavenger hunt for kids is about finding items from a list either inside the house or outdoors. The kids will love to find items one-by-one and checking them off the list.
Treasure hunt for kids can also be played. You have to write the clues which lead to the next one, ultimately leading to the treasure.
4. Animal Races
Kids can hop like frogs or rabbits. Or they can run on all four limbs like a dog. Maybe crawl on the ground like a lizard. It can become more fun with costumes!
The easiest way to play this is by drawing it with a chalk. If you want your kids to play it inside, then there are rugs like these available for it.
Get some empty plastic bottles or cups, take a ball, and start rolling it to knock over the pins! To make it more interesting, make a target on the ground with tape. With each section having different points, the kids can roll the ball and try to make them fall in the various areas, competing for higher score.
In this game, you have to spin a wheel and it tells which arm or leg should be put on which circle. Fun for 2 or more people, you can buy it or make it yourself. You’ll be tied up in knots.
Go in a park, and just throw the frisbees to each other. Another way is to make teams. Throw the frisbee to your teammates until you reach the end zone, without letting it touch the ground. If you’re successful, you score a point. If the frisbee touches the ground, the other teams have the chance to score.
9. Tug of war
All you have to do is get a rope, make teams and just start pulling towards yourself! Whichever team is able to bring the mark made on the rope towards their side wins.
10. Musical chairs
The game is best with 4 or more children playing and 1 person to stop the music. Suppose there are 5 children, then 4 chairs will be there. The one who couldn’t sit on a chair when music stops gets eliminated. Then game goes on with 4 children and 3 chairs and so on. Last one on the chair is the winner.
A great activity to get blood going to the brain and for strengthening core muscles. Kids are natural and most of the times don’t find it difficult.
As simple as it sounds, just put on some music and let your children groove! More fun if your kids’ friends are invited.
13. Clean-up Race
If you tell your children strictly to perform a task, chances are that they would resist. But if you present the task as a game, they would willingly do it. Set a timer or play a song and ask them to clean the room within time, and also the one who does the fastest, would earn a reward. In this way, they would be physically active and also the work is getting completed.
14. Pillow fight
Do you need an explanation? Just grab those pillows and have fun! Though we recommend using pillows other than filled with feather, unless you want your house to be covered in feathers.
15. Hike or Natural Walk
Long distances won’t be boring if you decide to go for a hiking or a walk through the nature. If you live in mountainous areas, it is easy to go for a hike. But if not, search for an area with a pond or in the woods and explore the landscape.
Fitness at Home
Many parents think of organized sports when they think about fitness. Though it is beneficial to get your child signed up for sports, practice and games once or twice a week are not enough.
Here are some ways to get your kid moving in the house:
Involve physical activity in your daily routine. Keep your family active every day, from household chores to after-dinner walks.
Keep variety of games and sports equipment handy in the house. Nothing expensive like hula hoops and skipping ropes can keep the kids busy for hours.
Be active together. Children love to play with their parents.
Limit the screen time like watching TV, using electronic devices, playing video games and being online
If you run out of possibilities at your home, places to visit with kids are parks and playgrounds. You should make family fitness outings a part of your regular routine. Activities can be- hiking, ice skating, rock climbing gym. It could be anything as long as everyone is participating.
Consequences of Physical Inactivity
Lack of physical activity results in obesity-related health problems in adulthood and even increased risk of being overweight in childhood also.
Children who don’t exercise have weaker bones and muscles than kids who exercise regularly. They have an increased risk of developing diabetes, higher blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
1. Increases Stress
Childhood stress has increased over the last few years. Prolonged stress in children can slow, or even stop the physical growth and brain development.
2. Mood Swings
Lack of physical activity can lead to mood swings. Good mental health is vital to live life happily, enjoy experiences and build meaningful relationships. Vigorous aerobic exercises releases endorphins and dopamine which helps to stay happy and positive.
3. Lack of Sleep
Inactive children face more problems in falling asleep and staying asleep. Not enough sleep can cause attention problems, short-term memory loss, inconsistent performance and delay in response time. When kids regularly exercise, they find it easier to maintain regular and healthy sleep pattern.
4. Reduced Performance in School
Exercise enhances brain power and improves academic performance. Moreover, exercise increases the blood flow to the brain which support the kids with everything, from concentration and alertness to problem solving. Lack of physical activity means that your children may won’t get these benefits, and not reach their full academic potential at school.