Have fun getting healthy!
Childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents in the past 30 years.1 With both immediate and long-term effects on health and well-being, it’s important to make sure that you lower the risks of childhood obesity by adopting healthy lifestyle habits, including making sure your kids are eating healthy foods and getting lots of physical activity.
There’s no better time to get outside and get active with your kids than in the summertime. Perhaps the best thing about exercising with kids is that it doesn’t have to seem like exercise at all. In fact, it’s better just to make it all about having fun. The moment kids think they’re doing something they “have” to or “should” is the moment it becomes work for them, so make it about games and races and exploring instead.
10 fun ways to get active with your kids this summer:
- Head to the park. Play catch, throw around a Frisbee, play with hula-hoops or enjoy a game of bocce ball. If you have room in your backyard, set up a badminton net or a horseshoe pitch. Check out Lawn Toss for more lawn game ideas and rules.
- Hit the schoolyard. Take a basketball to the schoolyard and shoot some hoops. Bring a couple of tennis balls along and bounce them off the walls and to each other after you’re finished with the basketball game.
- Skip away! Give each of your kids a skipping rope—and make sure to get one for yourself too! You can have skipping contests to see who can go the longest without stopping, or teach your kids the schoolyard skipping songs you knew as a kid. Visit Today’s Parent for a refresher if you’ve forgotten the lyrics.
- Take a dip. If you have a neighborhood pool, take the kids for a swim. Make sure to jump in the pool yourself! No matter what size or shape you may be, you’ll be teaching your kids an important lesson about self-worth and self-love if you put on your suit and dive in.
- Make an obstacle course in your backyard. Simple Kids has some great suggestions for creating fun obstacle courses using stuff you’ve got already around the house!
- Tour your community. Go for after dinner walks or bike rides around your neighborhood. Pack some healthy snacks and drinks and stop for a mini picnic in the park.
- Bust a move. Have a family dance-off in your living room. Push the furniture out of the way, crank up the tunes and dance, dance, dance!
- Play follow the leader. Take turns, but make the first leader a grown up so you can set the tone. Jump, crawl, run, skip, tumble and dance. As long as you keep moving, so will they!
- Seek refuge indoors. If the weather is bad or it’s too hot to be outside for long, try indoor rock climbing or have some fun at an indoor trampoline park. Have a look online to see what indoor activities are available near you.
- Become a family of Playfinders. If you are looking for a fun, engaging family activity that also helps make a difference in your local community, then Playfinders is the perfect activity for you. Along with other local member volunteers, you’ll test out, tidy up and tell others about your local playspaces, helping to get more families out and playing. To learn more, visit MyForesters.com.
Children and adolescents should get one hour or more of physical activity every day.2 When you make it about play, that one hour of activity turns into healthy, quality family time that your kids will look forward to every day.
For more advice on motivating kids to get active, visit Kids Health.
412652E CAN/US (08/15)