When we were camping recently, I was trying to keep my children happily occupied as my partner graciously cleaned up the tent and sleeping bags. We were all exhausted and antsy. I looked down at the pine cones under my feet and dared my kids to throw them as far as the downed log near our campsite. We all picked up pine cones and started lobbing them.
Then we picked up little sticks, rocks and branch clusters and threw them. We put a few lines in the dirt with our feet and made the “goal” (over the log) farther and farther away as we were more and more successful. It dawned on me that not only were we suddenly having fun, we were exercising. We hadn’t meant to squeeze fitness in, it just happened and we all felt better for it.
After a long drive home, we were all tired and antsy again. I decided to play the same game at home while my partner unpacked the car, except we used pillows. Ever tell a child to purposely throw their pillow as far as they can? Then tell them to beat your pillow throws? Can you throw it fast? Slow? High? Low? Hit a target? Make a goal? Under your leg? Behind your back? Juggle? I don’t think there is a kid any age who won’t happily huck a pillow (or anything they don’t normally use as a ball) and stay grumpy for long. I was still tired, and so were my kids, but it was a content-long-weekend tired rather than grumpy tired. Experiment yourself.
If you want to get into it, pay attention to your leg stride, how you transfer your weight from back to front, and where your shoulders and hips are in relation to your targets. Change throwing arms, be sure your core is turned on. Experiment some more. Change what you throw each week such as balls, darts, water balloons, shoes, rolled up socks, etc. Keep track of how far, how fast, how long you can go and if you improved over the week. Throw something, anything, and see what happens!