Have a Family Parade

You don’t have to ride a float to have your own parade–it doesn’t even have to be a special occasion! Having your own parade can add fun and a physical boost to your walk. And if it’s raining outside, you can even have your parade inside–just make sure the floor is free of objects and other hazards that may cause injuries.

 

If your children don’t know what a parade is, take the time to explain it to them–parades are often done to celebrate an event and they involve floats as well as people marching. Have everyone get in a line and have a family parade. You can march, bounce, and skip along your parade routes through your house or out in the yard. You can also take your parade to a walking trail or park!

 

Walking and having a family parade are great alternatives to sports for children who don’t enjoy sports. There are plenty of activities you and your children can participate in to be active without playing team sports, including fitness classes, yoga, and running. For tips, visit http://kidshealth.org/en/parents/hate-sports.html.

 

What day this week will you and your family have a parade?

Take a Walk with Parents and Grandparents

Spending time with your children and having your children be with their grandparents is special and valuable. While physical distance may make it difficult for your children to spend time with their grandparents, it’s great to take every chance for them to be together. Your children can learn a lot from their grandparents, and your children are sure to make their grandparents’ days!

 

Walking is the most popular physical activity in the world. You can walk fast or slow and everyone can do it no matter how big or small, making it a great activity for multiple generations of family members to do together. You can walk together and share stories from your childhood with your children, and your parents can share as well. Once you get to talking, the time will go by fast and you won’t even realize how long you’ve been walking!

 

If you don’t get the chance to see your parents very often, there are many ways that you and your children can stay in touch with them. Visit them when possible if they live nearby. Also, schedule regular times to give them a call so everyone can catch up. Technology today makes it easier than ever to keep up with our long-distance family and friends. For more tips on keeping in touch with your family, visit http://kidshealth.org/en/parents/grandparents.html.

 

What day this week can you visit together with your children and your parents?

Red Light, Green Light

Red Light, Green Light is a great way to get young children running! Simply jogging on a track can be boring for children, but Red Light, Green Light turns running into a fun game. It can also help children understand the meaning of the different colors on traffic lights.

 

You’ll need at least 3 players, but you can have as many players as you want as long as there’s room to run (whether in your yard or at the park). Decide which player is “it” first. This player will stand opposite the rest of the players (make sure there’s lots of space in between). The players at the other end should stand in a row at the starting line. To start, “it” calls “Green Light” so the players can start running toward “it.” But once “it” calls “Red Light,” the players must completely stop where they are–if the players don’t stop, they must return to the starting line. “It” should continue to call “Green Light” or “Red Light” as they choose until one of the players reaches them. The first player to reach the player who’s “it” wins, and the winner is “it” for the next game.

 

For an added challenge on Red Light, Green Light, visit http://www.grandparents.com/grandkids/activities-games-and-crafts/red-light-green-light.

 

Where will you and your family play Red Light, Green Light?

Red Rover

Red Rover is a fun outdoors game for larger groups of children (at least 6). Children should divide into two equal teams (for example, with a group of 6, each team should have 3 players each) and stand about 30 feet apart. Since a lot of space is needed, children should play Red Rover outside. Each team should hold hands to form a “chain.” When the first team says “Red Rover, Red Rover, send (player’s name) on over!” the player on the opposite team whose name who was called should run toward the other team and try and break through their chain (children should only run through the linked hands). If the player cannot break through the chain, they must join that team’s chain. If the player does break through the chain, they return to their team and bring one player with them (one of the players whose chain was broken). Teams should alternate turns until all players are on one team.

 

Encourage children that while the goal of the game is to break through the chain that safety can still be maintained. Children should not hold hands too tightly or push the children trying to break through the chain. Likewise, children trying to break the chain should not run too forcefully to break the chain

 

Since Red Rover requires multiple players, playing can be a great opportunity for your children to invite their friends and neighborhood children to join them. For more details on how to play Red Rover, visit http://www.grandparents.com/grandkids/activities-games-and-crafts/red-rover.

 

Who can your children play Red Rover with?

Movin’ and Groovin’

Children of all ages should get at least 60 minutes of physical activity. This can come in many forms, from swimming to a game of “Duck, Duck, Goose.” It may seem like toddlers and younger children don’t need as much exercise, but toddlers should get 30 minutes of structured and 60 minutes of unstructured activity daily. Structured activity should be adult-led, while unstructured is free play.

 

Dancing is great for all ages and can be an easy way for toddlers to be active. Toddlers love to move to the beat and sing along. Choose a fun song and get moving with your toddler. Young children and teens like to show off their moves too, so dancing can be activity for the whole family!

 

It’s important for toddlers to get physical activity everyday to help them grow and learn healthy habits early in life. While they may not be able to do everything older children and adults can, there are still many activities they can do. Also, you can modify activities to make them more age-appropriate. For example, rather than playing a structured game of soccer, older toddlers can still kick a ball around with you. To learn more about activity for your toddler, check out http://kidshealth.org/en/parents/active-toddler.html?WT.ac=p-ra.

 

What days will you dance with your kids this week?

Family Bike Riding

Riding bikes is fun exercise, especially as a family. No matter what age, children can enjoy riding a bike. Toddlers and preschoolers can ride tricycles, and children who haven’t learned how to ride a two-wheel bike can ride a bike with training wheels. You can also ride bikes in all kinds of settings–the driveway, bike lanes, and bike trails. For toddlers and preschoolers, the driveway or a sidewalk are safer options until they learn how to safely ride a bike with training wheels or a two-wheeler.

 

No matter what bike your child rides, safety is the first priority. Children (and adults!) should wear a properly-fitting helmet. Also, the bike should also be the right size so they can reach the pedals and the brakes. The bike should also be adjusted to fit your child’s height. They should be able to touch the ground with both feet when the seat is at its lowest position, and their legs should be slightly bent when their pedal is closest to the ground. Make bike rides a fun family outing! Older children who are more experienced with biking can join you for a long bike ride. Make sure you take water, sunscreen, and snacks!

 

For more bike riding tips and to learn how to teach your child how to ride a bike, visit http://www.parents.com/fun/sports/exercise/bicycle-riding/.

 

When will you get your children started with bike riding?

Jump Rope

Jumping rope is a great way to exercise and make your heart work hard. People in countries all over the world jump rope as a way to stay fit and healthy. There’s even an event at the Olympics for jump rope! It’s also a great activity for both children and adults, making it a fun way to exercise as a family.

 

To make sure you and your children are safe while jump roping, it’s important to size your rope. Stand in the middle of it and make sure the handles come below your underarms. Test out the size before purchasing a new jump rope. If you haven’t jump roped before, it’s okay! Make sure to take it slow until you’re more comfortable going faster. Many school physical education classes teach jump rope, so if your children are already familiar with it they can show you the ropes!

 

Have you ever wondered if you have the correct jump rope form? Visit www.myheart.org.sg/jrfh/skipping_lessons.htm to learn how to get started and watch demonstrations of fun jumps or http://go.ncsu.edu/heartjumpropeskills for step-by-step instructions on how to do different jump rope skills.

 

What jump rope skills will you can your children practice this week?

Simon Says

Simon Says is a great game for kids of all ages because you can include easier or more difficult movements as appropriate. Also, there’s no minimum or maximum number of participants, so no matter how big your family is, everyone can play! You can even play inside or outside–whichever your children prefer.

 

Choose one person to be “Simon” first. “Simon” will call out exercises for the group to do. The group should only do the exercise if “Simon says” to do it. If someone does the exercise and “Simon” did not say “Simon says,” that person must sit down. Here are some ideas of different exercises the group can do:

  • Run in place
  • Hop on one foot
  • Jump up and down
  • Play basketball
  • Swim
  • Dance
  • Shake all over
  • March in place
  • Clap your hands behind your back
  • Jumping jacks

 

What exercises will you have your children do when you’re “Simon?”

Roller Skating

Roller skating and roller blading (also called inline skating) are fun activities for children to learn when they’re old enough. Roller skates have 4 wheels arranged in two side-by-side pairs, while roller blades/inline skates have 4 wheels in a row. Roller skates are usually used on an indoor rink and roller blades outside, though you can use both in either setting. Roller blades allow you to go faster than roller skates, but they are also less stable than roller skates, so children new to skating may prefer to start with roller skates.

 

Some children can start skating as young as preschool if they show interest, but remember that every child’s readiness for physical activity is different. There are roller skates designed for preschoolers with adjustable wheels you can try. Once new skaters become comfortable with standing on skates, they can try moving forward on the skates and proper stopping technique. Advanced skaters can learn more difficult techniques and may be interested in switching from roller skating to roller blading. Young skaters should always have adult supervision. Older children may not need adult supervision while skating, depending on their skill level, but they should at least skate with a friend.

 

Roller skating is great aerobic exercise, as it can get your heart rate up to 140-160 beats per minute, and even up to 180 beats per minute if you skate vigorously. Not only is roller skating good for your heart, but it also helps build strong muscles. It uses most muscle groups, including your glutes, quads, abs, calves, and arms. Roller skating at a moderate speed for an hour can even burn 330 calories!

 

Roller skaters can get hurt if they lose balance and fall down, especially when they are first learning how to skate. Wearing proper safety gear can help prevent injuries while skating. As with biking, helmets are a top priority. A bike helmet will work fine, but if your child skates often, they should wear an inline skating or skateboarding helmet which provides better protection for backward falls. The plastic on the skates should be strong enough that you can’t squeeze it. Also, make sure the brakes and wheels are not worn out and that skates are securely on the foot. Pads, long pants and shirts, gloves, and mouth guards can be especially helpful for outdoor skating to prevent scrapes if your child falls on concrete.

 

Children can skate on an indoor rink or outdoors, depending on what’s available and the child’s skill level and preference. When skating outside, try having children skate in areas without people or obstacles (e.g. empty parking lots, unused tennis courts, pavement with grass around it). Make sure children know to always be aware of other people and obstacles to avoid accidents and practice good etiquette while sharing an outdoor space. Children may also be interested in ice skating and sports that incorporate skating, such as hockey and roller derby.

 

To learn more about roller skating fundamentals, visit http://www.rollerskating.com/files_uploaded/93ea7feebe34c9bf8fad2142e90e83e6.pdf.

 

Have your children tried roller skating?


References

  1. http://dscdeptford.com/skates-or-blades/
  2. http://www.rollerskating.com/pages/all+about+roller+skating/51
  3. http://kidshealth.org/en/teens/safety-inline.html#

Hula Hoop

Hula hooping is an inexpensive way to fit in physical activity. If you practice, you’ll not only improve your skills, but you’ll get a great workout! There are many different sizes of hula hoops, so you can choose hoops appropriate for children of all ages and even get one for yourself. After all, activities like hula hooping are more fun with the whole family!

 

Before you begin, make sure the hula hoop is the right size. If you place it in front of you, it should stand between your belly button and chest. Also, larger hoops rotate more slowly than smaller hoops, so starting with a larger hoop may be easier for beginners. Once you have a proper size hula hoop, step inside, hold it around your waist, give it a push, and shift your weight with the hoop as it moves. Hula hooping isn’t just for your waist–you can even hula hoop around your arm, knee, and leg doing all kinds of tricks. The possibilities are endless! Always make sure to give yourself plenty of room so you don’t accidentally hit anyone. Don’t have a hula hoop? You can make your own! This is also a great method to ensure you have the right size hula hoop.

 

Did you know World Hula Hoop Day exists? The first Saturday in October, every year people from all over the world gather to hula hoop the day away and promote peace. To learn more about hula hooping and how to do it, visit http://www.hooping.org/2003/08/how-to-hula-hoop/.

 

Share what hula hoop techniques your children learn!