With school spring break around the corner, plan active play dates, parties and/or vacations. It’s more fun, memorable, and (oh yeah), you’ll squeeze in exercise at the same time!
-Take a walking tour of cities and towns. Try a gourmet walk from chocolatier to bakery, a walking comedy tour (I’ve done it; it’s fun!) or make your own tour. Let your kids pick a destination and walk to it.
-Plan an active play date with another family. Try some of the games on this website such as running Scrabble, a scavenger hunt, Letterboxing, Tri Day or go on a simple hike. One of our favorite things to do as a family is go hiking with friends. One Dad I know concocts intricate stories involving their kids’ stuffed animals as the children walk along riveted to his tale.
-My neighbor and his son are already on vacation. This morning, they were starting to play their home-made Angry Birds Game in 3-D. They are working on a slingshot to go with it. Think they’ll have a blast and get some exercise chasing after the balls and boxes? His son will get the side benefit of a great day with Dad all while having a blast learning physics. So fantastic!
-Regardless of whether you go away or stay home for a vacation, make it active (and therefore, much more fun and memorable)! Rent bikes in a new town and just explore with no agenda. Or ask the bike shop for local bike trails. Find a new pool, lake or beach to swim; snowshoe from hut to hut; roller-skate to the ice cream parlor or have a dance party. By three, my son was able to ice skate by himself. So I just skated alongside. If you can, “practice” your activity beforehand so you can ride/ski/hike/etc. comfortably for days in a row.
-Try the jumpy places that have walls and floors made of trampolines. They are all over the U.S. Or go to your local park for free and jump on all the wobbly bridges and bars. I know I’m not the only adult who does it because I’ve seen others play along too. Make the park active time for all of you, rather than sitting and watching your kid play. You’ll get a workout, and your kids will feel like you really played with them and didn’t just “watch”. Bring balls, discs, jump ropes, kites, skateboards, and other friends to join in running around. Think of childhood games you liked to play and do them. Remember Kick the Can? Four Square? Wheelbarrows? Hopscotch?
Sounds like a memorable play date/vacation, doesn’t it?