Most parents admit that winter isn't the easiest time to get kids exercising outdoors—especially when the couch is so warm and inviting. So, if you're looking for ways to get your hockey players or other kids “up and at ‘em,” why not encourage them to warm up with some heart-pumping indoor fun instead? Try these ways to get them moving:
- What could be more fun than a table tennis match? Gather family and friends for an afternoon tournament.
- Dancing promotes balance, flexibility and rhythm. Pump the music and have a family dance-off!
- Teach your kids the old games or skipping songs that you remember from your playground days, or let them teach you some new ones. Games like Ring Around the Rosie and Duck Duck Goose don’t require too much space but still get kids in action. In Duck Duck Goose, all the kids except one sit in a circle facing each other. One child (the “fox”) walks around the circle and taps each kid on the head saying “duck!” At a point of the fox's choosing he shouts “goose!” and taps the next child (the “goose”). The goose then chases the fox in the same direction the fox is running. The fox tries to get back to the goose’s spot without getting tagged by the goose. If the goose catches the fox, the fox continues to walk around the circle; if the fox succeeds, the goose becomes the new fox.
- Play “follow the fitness leader - this is the “follow the leader” game but with exercise activities such as jumping jacks and somersaults.
- Get things done around the house! Many kids love games, so let the little ones race to see who can pick up their toys the fastest, while older athletes can try to gather laundry at record speed!
- Make up indoor sports games with foam balls - toss them around, play catch bouncing them off a wall, or use a mini hoop to play basketball.
- Check out your local community centre or gym - many have special indoor kids programs or kids’ zones that can help keep you and your child active!
- Put on a kid-friendly exercise video or DVD. Look for them at libraries or bookstores.
Keep up your kids’ enthusiasm up by encouraging them to participate in physical activities they enjoy, and be active along with them. If kids feel like they’re doing something fun with their family, they’ll be more likely to keep physically active!