Get Out With Your Kids - There Will Be No Regrets!
Having my four kids stay physically active is very important to me, and it doesn’t have to be expensive! Of course there are organized team sports, exclusive gymnastics classes, and membership only clubs. Those can be fun yet costly and aren’t easily accessible to families on a tight budget. It has been my pleasure to include my kids in fun recreational exercise that doesn’t cost a cent!
The season at home during COVID gave us plenty of time together. I am a big proponent of turning off screens and getting kids outside as much as possible. We made a morning walk an important part of our school routine. We’d get fresh air every day and enjoy the hilly hikes in our neighborhoods. Sometimes, if my kids got squirrely, we’d include a game of I Spy, Identify the Plant, or Would You Rather. My kids learned to keep pace with the stroller, and they got a good amount of exercise! They learned to be explorers!
As things began to open up, we enjoyed visiting playgrounds and parks. Playgrounds are a great way to try new challenges such as monkey bars, climbing walls, or ladders. My older two children aren't always interested in play structures anymore, so I let them pack mitts with a baseball or a basketball to play with. Parks or fields without playgrounds can still be fun. Running games such as sprints or tag don’t require any equipment at all.
What about at home? Having a play structure or trampoline at home is a lot of fun and encourages regular exercise via play. But this requires a bit of space. Basketball hoops take up less space and are a great way to get exercise and have fun. Soccer balls, nerf footballs, tennis balls, whiffle balls….all great tools in being active outside. My kids have made up so many games and activities using minimal equipment. Garage sales are a great place to find outdoor sport or exercise equipment. If it’s FUN and if it’s PLAY, then my kids are more likely to choose something physically active in their free time. I would be thrilled if, as my kids grew up, they included many exercise activities or sports into their list of hobbies.
Lastly, show your kids that exercise is important to you! My kids know my exercise routine! They see my yoga mats and free weights and know that exercise keeps Mom healthy (and sane!) to keep up with them. Go outside with your kids! Do active things as a family! Are bike rides an option in your neighborhood or an elementary school paved track perhaps? Go hiking! Find a nature trail! Play at parks! Find some outdoor tennis courts! Many free options for active fun! Get outside and play with your kids. You won’t regret it.
This blog was written by one of our guest bloggers, Gabriela.
I am a mother to four children ranging from 3-12 years old. I love to exercise! I live in the beautiful Pacific Northwest and am happiest when I'm outside playing with my family.
Want more information on this topic? wichealth.org has a free online lesson called Happy, Healthy, Active Children. Find it on wichealth.org in the Children Ages 1 to 5 category!