Exercise those Demons Away
Resistance can be a sign of anxiety. So many children are saying no right now, whilst their parents tear their hair out. We’re in the middle of the most anxiety-provoking time globally our children (and us!) have ever experienced. Many children are hyper-aroused, and they show this with anger and resistance. If parents react with anger, then the child becomes even more anxious and more resistant.
It’s a time where parents need to take a deep breath and stay calm, even whilst their children shout and rage. Seeing a tantrum as a panic attack can help us to stay compassionate even when faced by outrageous and unreasonable behaviour.
Help children manage their anxiety by providing space for them to talk about their feelings. Talk about how anxiety is a normal human reaction in this situation, and many millions of people are worrying and having trouble sleeping right now. The best thing we know for anxiety is exercise, and many children are doing less exercise now that they are stuck in. There are exercise apps for smartphones and exercise games on consoles. Put some music on and dance. If they say no, you do it anyway. One day they may join in.
Not only is physical activity integral to a child’s physical health, but it is also critical for their mental health. Physical activity pumps blood through the body and provide energy for thinking and creating, which leads to increased performance in the classroom.
So how can you get those kids up and about? Keep reading for some entertaining ideas.
15 fun fitness activities for kids
Getting kids to “work out” can be challenging. But there’s no need to stick to run-of-the-mill, boring exercises like jumping jacks, push-ups and sprints. We put together a list of some fun and creative fitness activities for kids that will get them moving in no time at all.
1. Go on a bear hunt
“I’m Going on a Bear Hunt”? While this song can easily be sung while sitting on a tree stump at camp, there’s also opportunity to make the whole song more active. Act out the different motions: swim across the lake, climb up the tree and stomp over the bridge. This activity gets especially entertaining when you’re scurrying away from the bear at the end.
2. Play follow the leader
This classic game never gets old, and you don’t need any equipment to play. Let your kiddos take turns being the leader, directing the others to match their every move. Encourage them to get active by hopping, skipping, crawling, shuffling and using their imaginations.
3. Have a dance party
Pop in your favourite tunes, crank up the volume and get moving and grooving! For extra fun, kill the lights and turn on some fun lighting, like a disco ball or some lava lamps. Kids can compete for best dance move, or you can simply make up a dance to an entire song.
4. Create a scavenger hunt
Hide things all over the backyard or throughout the house and have kids race to find each clue. If you want to sneak even more exercise into this activity, include requirements with each clue, like “Do four cartwheels before moving on,” or “Make up a funny dance.” This activity is fun because it can be elaborate and long or short and sweet.
5. Use a Wii Fit
What a wonderful world of technology we live in today. Instead of letting your kids sit for hours in front of the television playing video games, leverage that love for technology and get them going with a Wii Fit game! There are all sorts of fun and active kids’ games out there such as Just Dance Kids, Nickelodeon Fit and many more!
6. Draw a maze in the garden
Chalk can help you create beautiful masterpieces, but it can also assist in some fun fitness activities. Draw an elaborate, detailed maze all over the garden, then let your little ones run (or race) through it! This activity encourages fitness and creativity at the same time!
7. Animal walks
Use your imaginations to come up with different types of animal walks! Imitate bears walking, or run fast like a cheetah. Waddle like a penguin, or pretend to swim through the ocean like a dolphin.
8. Have pillow fight
It’s an age-old activity, and pretty much every little kid’s dream! We recommend using pillows other than the feather-filled versions, unless you enjoy having a house covered in feathers.
9. Make an obstacle course
Using couch cushions, pots and pans, and plenty of other household objects, construct an engaging and challenging obstacle course. Kids can climb under blankets stretched between the couch and coffee table, or they can somersault across the living room. Take this kind of play outside if you want more room to move around.
10. Wheelbarrow or crab walk races
These tough, yet funny positions are both fun to attempt and hilarious to watch. Have kids race from one end of the yard to another, or time a pair to see how long it takes them to wheelbarrow around the house three times.
11. Clean-up race
What could be better than fun exercises for kids that benefit both their bodies and your house? Pick a room or assign the whole house and see which kid can clean up the most. This exercise is practical enough that you could employ a “clean-up race” in your kids’ rooms every day.
12. Go for a hike or nature walk
Who says walking long distances has to be boring? Pick a scenic trail, strap on your hiking boots and explore the outdoors! Go for a nature walk in a park, by a pond, or in the woods and investigate the landscape. Do a little research beforehand, and the exercise doubles as an academic lesson.
13. Red light, green light
It’s an oldie, but a goody! Play the “red light, green light” game in the garden, and help kids exercise and learn about following directions. Add colour visuals by making a red or green sign to help children learn about colour as well!
14. Hula Hooping:
For some reason, children love hula hoops!
Get your children some hula hoops and start hooping with them. Just teach them how to do it and we promise you that they won’t be able to get enough.
15. Blow off that steam!
We’re used to the tantrums our kids throw, right? What if I told you that you asking them to throw these temper tantrums on purpose when they’re in a good mood will actually help them both psychologically and physically?
It may sound a bit crazy, but when they kick and run and jump and scream, they’re getting tired out because of the energy they’re spending.
This also helps them get out all their pent up anger and emotion without them even realising it.
It’s time to get moving
Now you know that exercise doesn’t have to be boring. Start implementing these ideas into your child’s routine and emphasise the importance of being active. These activities may seem silly, but you’ll start laying the groundwork for a healthy, happy life.
By keeping active, even in the simplest ways, children can support each part of their body and their brain for optimum learning and growth.