Teaching kids to be active at an early age can create healthy habits that will improve their health and quality of living for the rest of their lives. Exercise for kids should be fun rather than a chore and should encourage interaction with friends, quality time with family members and exploring new hobbies.
Team sports are a great way for kids to make friends and learn to cooperate with others. Kids as young as five years old can participate in team sports such as soccer and t-ball. Placing the focus on a fun team sport takes the emphases off of exercising only for health reasons and helps kids learn to enjoy being active.
Learning to ride a bike is one of the highlights of childhood and can turn into a life-long hobby. Biking is a wonderful large motor activity that can provide kids with hours of fun, both alone and with their friends. Go biking as a family after dinner instead of watching T.V., or bike with your kids to and from school.
Create an Obstacle Course
Creating an obstacle course for your kids and their friends is a wonderful way to encourage creativity and outdoor exercise. A few basic materials that you have around the house can be used to create a fun and exciting obstacle course that kids will love. Use extra boxes, hula hoops, plastic cones, balls, logs and playground equipment to create a fun obstacle course in the back yard. Encourage your kids to create their own obstacle courses by rearranging the materials and changing the rules. Kids can walk, run, hop or crawl between points in the obstacle course for a fun and active play idea.
Running Through the Sprinklers
During the warmer months, kids love to get outside and cool down by playing in the sprinklers. Playing in the sprinklers is not only a great way to enjoy time with friends and family but it can be a great way to get some exercise in. Running strengthens important muscles and provides a great cardio workout for growing kids.
Playing at the Playground
Playgrounds make wonderful exercise equipment for kids. With opportunities to run, jump and climb, kids get a great full-body workout. Most cities offer several great public playgrounds that kids can visit and most public schools allow kids to play on the school playground after school hours. Allowing kids to exercise in ways that are fun and exciting provides a foundation for a healthier life.