Children are so inclined to spend most of their time playing games on smartphones or watching videos on the internet, that it's getting tougher to pull them away.
There are so many kids who rarely leave their rooms or home and engage in physical activities. With schooling ending at 2:30 pm, these kids have anywhere between 4-6 hours left in their day. As parents, engaging your kids in healthy physical activities and spending some time outdoors is an excellent idea, but sometimes easier said than done!
There are a number of games and activities they can do; from band-aid tag to duck duck goose to jump roping.
In order for children to develop into healthy adults, they need to jump, walk, climb and run. If your children aren’t doing it themselves, finding interesting activities to engage them and get them moving is crucial.
Struggling for ideas? Here’s a list of some of the most engaging physical activities for your kids that will not leave them feeling bored.
1. Balance Beam
This is very easy to arrange and masking tape is all you need.
Cut off different shapes of the masking tape and stick them to the ground. Ask your child to walk, skip or run on the different shapes without stepping outside the tape.
Make it a competition, if not with others, than with themselves. Start timing your kid to see what their fastest time is.
This game requires a minimum of 6 kids to play, so it’s an activity best organized at the park or a get-together.
First, you need to select someone to be the Goose. The remaining 5 kids will sit in a circle, while the Goose walks around them, touching each kid on the head saying ‘Duck’.
Eventually, instead of tapping a head, the Goose will shout ‘Goose’ and tag one of the kids. The kid that is tagged has to give chase and tag the Goose before he or she is able to get to their vacated. If they are unable to do so, the tapped kid becomes the New ‘Goose’.
3. Band-Aid Tag
There exist no “its” in this tag game. All the players can be tagged or tag. After someone is tagged, they need to put a hand over the spot they were tagged on – that becomes the “Band-Aid”.
They can then continue to attempt to tag others using their free hand. If they get tagged again, they need to put their free hand over the spot that was tagged, and still can continue playing.
When they get tagged a third time, they will be sent to the “hospital”. They have to execute a predetermined action, such as completing 10 jumping jacks. Once they do so, they are healed and can continue playing with both hands free again.
4. Musical Chairs
Prepare your kids for a runaround and loads of fun. The best thing about musical chairs, you too can join in, or at least get involved refereeing the activity.
This game is best played with at least 4 people and someone to take charge of the music. The number of chairs placed in a circle needs to be one less than the total number of players. Once the music starts, everyone will begin walking in a circle around the chairs.
When the music stops, they have to find a seat. The odd one left out is eliminated from the game. Remove one chair for the next round. Keep playing until there is only one player – who will be the winner.
5. Hot Potato
This game will keep you on your toes. Arrange the kids in a circle. You’ll need a tennis ball, bowling ball, or even an apple to act as the ’hot potato’.
Music plays, and the hot potato is passed around. When the music stops, whichever child is holding the ‘hot potato’ is eliminated from the game. Continue the game until one player is remaining – that player is the winner.
This game will requires you to be good at drawing with a chalk – on a pavement no less.
Get a piece of chalk and draw a hopscotch design or map (as shown above). The children playing will take turns rolling a stone onto the map. They have to jump through the hopscotch and retrieve the stone without falling over. Anyone who jumps into the wrong numbered box is eliminated.
When you think bowling – you think bowling alleys. While, a trip to the bowling alley is certainly a great activity for children, you can recreate the fun in your backyard or the playground too.
Fill up some plastic water bottles that will act as bowling pins. Place the bottles against a wall or fence in two rows. Hand any ball (tennis or plastic ball) to your child and ask them to bowl. It’s a great activity that also helps in building arm strength.
8. Blind Trust
This game will teach your children to pay attention and follow instructions. Set up a complex obstacle course using cardboard boxes, cones and hula hoops.
Blindfold your children, and one by one ask them to go through the course with only your voice to guide them.
If nothing else strike your fancy, make it a point to take your child out to the playground where they can get some of their energy out on the slides, swings, merry-go-round and monkey bars.
Encourage your children to engage with other kids, and run around. Those playground rides might be fun, but they’re great exercise too. Keep your eyes open though, your child might need assistance at this age.
10. Treasure Hunt
This game will require you to do some planning. You’ll have to create a treasure chest, hide it somewhere, and create a treasure map. Most importantly, you’ll have to create a story that gets your child interested. The suspense of discovering and finding out what the treasure is needs to be created.
Not only are these 10 activities physically beneficial, but they’ll help your child’s problem solving, team-working and logical thinking abilities too. Getting out of the house and engaging with other kids will make them more confident, and they’ll be stronger for it.
For other ideas on how to engage your child in physical activities, feel free to check out our Starter or Sports Boxes