Family Fitness when it is Freezing

Here in Sioux Falls we are experiencing quite a cold snap lately and have been thinking creatively to help the kids stay active while we are stuck indoors.  To beat cabin fever and stay fit the kids at our childcare and education programs are enjoying a variety of activities!  For a taste of the fun try some of the following activities:

  • Cut a Rug- Plan a dance party complete with outfits, tunes and some great homemade decorations. Dance until you drop then take a break and start again! Dancing is great for keeping your heart rate up. One great thing about dance is that you can choose the music you like best.
  • Balloon Ball- Balloon games like volleyball, keeping the balloon in the air, relays, jumping to pop, etc.  For more balloon ideas try: http://www.ehow.com/info_8240138_indoor-balloon-games.html
  • Indoor obstacle course-Create an obstacle course out of whatever space and furniture you have available. Components could include: climbing over or under chairs, crawling under a table without disturbing any of the balloons tied to strings dangling from the top, sliding under a string stretched between two objects or pieces of furniture, stepping on a series of pieces of paper taped to the floor or crawling through a tunnel made from blankets or couch cushions. Add difficulty by requiring players to wear a hat while competing, jumping three times after each station or whatever else you can imagine. (This idea comes from 365 TV-Free Activities You Can Do with Your Child by Steve and Ruth Bennett.)
  • Follow the Leader or Simon Says- Jumping jacks, moving like animals, crab walk, belly crawl, running in place, summersaults and just plain wiggles are all more fun with a friend.
  • Click on the TV- You didn’t read that wrong. Grab a workout DVD from the library and sweat it out! Whether it is some old school Richard Simmons or a little Insanity, a workout video done the first time is a good laugh on your own or with the kids.
  • Hopscotch or Foursquare- A little masking tape on the floor creates a mini gym for fitness fun. Create a hopscotch pattern or make a four square court. http://www.squarefour.org/rules  Line tag is another winner if you have more friends to play with. http://www.greatgroupgames.com/line-tag.htm
  • Flashlight tag- Turn off the lights and flip on the flashlights.  See how well you can do at dodging the beams.  Avoid shining in eyes and talk before the game begins about how it is almost impossible to know if you were really “hit” so it is better just to have fun and keep moving.
  • Recycle- Skate around the house in shoebox “skates” or try some of these fun ideas: http://voices.yahoo.com/indoor-fitness-children-using-paper-towels-other-671824.html
  • Have a sock war- for instructions or many other fun activities try  http://www.ehow.com/how_4603279_plan-indoor-exercise-kids.html
  • Stations- Set up stations around the house with activities like soup can weight lifting, toilet paper toss, pillow jumping, family room sit ups, etc.
  • Active art- Use tarps, big sheets of paper and washable paint to give kids a chance to make art with movement.  Art on the floor using feet and art on the wall using their hands can keep kids jumping, touching toes, spinning and moving. 

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