There never is a dull moment, especially when you are a parent. No matter the stage of your children, you are constantly preparing dinners, doing laundry, taxiing them from one event to the next, helping with homework and the list goes on. To fit exercise in on TOP of all this can feel a bit daunting. For most parents, we don’t have the extra time to get to the gym. Instead of making it be an excuse, consider doing your exercise program WITH your kids. Yes, I said it and will say it again…..workout with your kids! No matter the age of your children, the most valuable gift you can give them is the gift of time. Exercise doesn’t have to be fancy and it doesn’t have to be planned out, just get outside and start moving!
Every summer we run a FREE Family Bootcamp at Wilcox Park in Eastown. All you have to do is sign up on Mindbody. The kids range anywhere from 5 – 12 years old it is always a blast! It’s been scorching hot out but that hasn’t stopped us from having fun! I wanted to share five of my favorite workout games so you too can get your kids outdoors and enjoy these last few weeks of summer.
*Extreme Duck-Duck Goose: Yes, extreme means more movement, so here’s how it works! Everyone stands in a large circle, facing outside. The person who is “it” goes around the circle and taps everyone’s head, saying “DUCK”. When you get tagged, you can make that person do 5 squats (or 5 push-ups). When they choose the “GOOSE”, the person who is tagged will run in the opposite direction as the person who tagged them, rushing to see who can get to the open spot faster. To make it even more extreme, have everyone hold a plank position until they get tagged!
*Hungry Hungry Hippos: Who doesn’t love this loud and obnoxious game? Best if run in a large open space/backyard and you just need 5 small buckets and 20-40 small balls. Set the bucket with all the balls in the center of the field and divide the family into 4 equal teams. (If you have a smaller family, just do 2-3 teams). Make sure the distance between the teams and the center bucket is equal. When the game starts, the first person on each team sprints to the bucket, takes out 1 ball, and brings it back to their home base (bucket). The game keeps playing until all the balls are gone; the team with the most balls wins! Talk about some cardio competition!
*Blob Tag: By far, the most popular game requested by kids this summer! This is a great game to do at the park, at the beach or in your backyard! (But you definitely want to invite the neighbor kids over!) Groups of two link arms to become “one” unit. The team that is “IT” tries to tag all the other groups. When a group gets tagged, they must link arms with the “IT” and continues to grow into a “blob”. This is a fun game to teach teamwork and communication!
*Animal Pentathlon: This game can be played indoors or outside, you just need to be creative!
Choose 4-5 animal moves and create a relay-race style event, where each kid must complete all 5 moves and run back to the starting line first. Depending on the age of your children, you can have them do a smaller number of reps or added rounds to complete. For example, older kids could do this 3-4 rounds through, from start to finish. Here are five animal moves you can use at home: bear crawl, crabwalk, donkey kicks, gorilla walks and penguin waddles are just a few ideas to try!
*Summer Olympics: This is a great game to play year round, indoors or outdoors! Plus, if your kids are competitive, this is a great way to rally up the energy. Come up with 4-5 stations…long jump, hurdles, sprints, dribbling, shooting/passing, anything works! Have each child choose a country to represent and then have them go through each station at least once to practice. For the next round, kids are competing to see who is the fastest or who can get the most reps in over a period of time. Feel free to add basic movements in, such as push-ups, crunches on the stability ball or bicep curls. At the end, have a final awards ceremony for the team that earns GOLD!
As parents, one of the most critical roles is to instill healthy habits with our children. This means anything from serving vegetables at every meal (the colored kind), rewarding behavior with non-food options, setting healthy technology boundaries or getting our kids to exercise. Plus, it’s a way for YOU to be healthy and lead by example….the best form of learning there is!
Try out these workouts soon and let us know how they went!