Aye. Summer camps. Expensive, right? And keeping up with all the dates and times and for this camp you send a packed lunch, but this one take money…and don’t forget your water bottle! and sunscreen! Sometimes I just want something simple. When I was growing up we got a popsicle, nudged outside and told, “go play!”. I […]
Earth Day is approaching and I would venture to say that most of us do not plan anything special to celebrate this holiday. We can probably all agree that we do want happy and healthy kids…am I right? How can we use Earth Day to inch closer to that goal? Let’s dive right in because I have 4 easy & free ideas to get moving and help our environment too.
As adults we forget that element of fun that saturates the minds of children. If you have ever asked a child or teen to do something, you were probably more successful if you framed it as something fun. Simply asking them to take out the trash might illicit an eye roll, but challenging them to haul it to the curb in ten seconds for a nominal prize, might get them to put down their controller.
Kids get fit when they find it fun and engaging. While most people can force themselves to complete a task because it’s “healthy”, it is hard to sustain that behavior. I’ve got a few ideas about the upcoming Boston Marathon that might help you get your family moving. Fostering a love for physical activity from a young age can have measurable impact towards overall health and fitness later in life. Here we go!
Knowing that kids (and adults) learn in a variety of ways, use your child’s learning style to aid your efforts.
- Have kids that like math? Create a chart that they can check off 26.2 laps to represent the miles of the Marathon. If you have little kids, maybe “laps” means two driveways down is a lap and two driveways back is a lap. If your kids are a little older, maybe they walk or ride their bikes around your neighborhood and each time is a lap. Middle schoolers? Use their track at school and run/walk a few laps over the span of a few days. You can even do calculations of how many feet 26.2 miles equals. Let your child’s interest be your guide!
- Have kids that like to read and draw? Let them read guides like this one about each mile of the Marathon. Encourage them to research places like Boylston Street, Hopkinton, Heartbreak Hill, Wellesley College, etc. Give them cards to draw a picture of a place on the route and list an exercise on the other side. Let each child take turns picking a card at random and then together they do the exercise for one minute.
- Have tennis balls, soccer balls, hula hoops lying around? There are so many fun games you can incorporate with simple objects. Maybe you put a hula hoop on each side of your yard and the kids have to move 4 tennis balls to the hoop, one at a time, then move them back.
- Have friends and neighbors? Fitness is more fun with friends. Working together will build better friendships and stronger bonds that will be helpful in school environments. Maybe having a little good peer pressure from friends will help motivate your kids to try something new. Split the kids in two teams and line them up along each fence. Have them run to the middle and do something different each time they meet and run back to the fence. Depending on age, they can high five, do jumping jacks, push ups, air squats, etc.
Couple of things to keep in mind:
- stay positive,
- let them suggest ideas and be willing to adapt to incorporate their ideas,
- encourage them to discover new ways to use the objects you provide.
Have fun! I can’t wait to hear your feedback about your time together. Feel free to comment below if you have an activity your family loves and you want to share! Let the kids decorate for Marathon Monday and share their thoughts and feelings about the day. Depending on the age of your children, you can share about the bombings. Minimize the details and maximize the inspirational stories that have come out of the horrific event. You never know what you can inspire in them! 🙂