Fighting off their boredom and keeping your kids active and fit isn't always an easy task on those rainy days when you are competing in the age of the internet with social media, apps and video games, but we all know how essential it is for their health and for precious time to bond with your little ones.
Apart from boredom, an inactive and sedentary lifestyle can cause a myriad of health issues for children, so it's important that you encourage them to stay healthy and active and enjoy the outdoors where possible.
With this in mind we bring you our favorite active games that we enjoy playing with our kids just as much as they do. They're plenty of fun, and they'll get your kids up off the couch and moving around.
Hide And Go Seek Tag
A few kids can spend endless hours playing this twist on a classic game. Hide and seek by itself isn't the most active of games, though it does require some movement. But adding the element of tag really takes things to another level.
Choose a base either outside in the yard or inside the house. If you're outside, it's smart to set some limits on how far away players can hide.
The seeker covers his or her eyes and counts to 100 on the base, giving everyone else time to hide. Then the seeker tries to find them. Only once, they're found, it's a race back to the base.
The first person tagged is "it," and if the seeker doesn't get anyone, they go again. You'll find that major strategy begins to evolve as the game goes on and players try to find the best hiding spots that also give them room to escape.Wheelbarrow Races
Wheelbarrow races don't require anything special to perform, and they get everyone up and moving in a unique position.
One person stands upright, while another lays on their belly on the ground in front of them. The person standing reaches down and grabs the ankles of the person on the ground, who then pushes up with his or her arms.
Done right, the person standing should be holding their teammate's legs just under waist height–like you would with a wheelbarrow. It's up to each team to coordinate the arm and leg movements of each teammate in order to move forward and win the race. Animal Charades
One of our favorite active games, it's fun, simple, and requires everyone to get up and move at some point. Write the names of several different animals on slips of paper, being as creative as you can, and then drop them into a hat.
Everyone takes turns pulling a slip of paper out of the hat, and then silently acting out which animal they are while everyone else guesses. Be sure to use plenty of big, well-known animals, as well as some harder ones that will require exaggerated movements.Around The World
Set up a bucket or basket in each room of the house, and give each one a label with the name of a continent. Each player gets a rolled up sock, and they have to throw it into the basket from the doorway.
Each time they make a basket, they get to move on to the next "continent." When they get to the end, they have to make it back around the world by making the baskets in reverse order.
To spice things up, you can include a two-shot rule. Each player is given two shots when it's their turn. If they miss the first shot, they can simply stay where they are and wait for their next turn.
But they can also choose to use their second shot. If they make it, they move on and keep shooting. If they miss their second shot, then they have to start all over again at the first "continent." 500
Depending on how old your children are, you can use anything from a rolled up sock or foam ball to a real baseball with gloves. The premise of the game is simple. At least two children stand a little ways away, and the thrower lobs the ball to them.
But just before the thrower tosses the ball, he or she calls out a number. For instance, "Here's 100!"
Whoever catches the ball gets the points that were called out, and the first to 500 becomes the next thrower. Or alternatively, mom or dad can be all-time thrower if the kids don't quite have the arm strength for it yet.Potato Race
All you need for this one is a few potatoes and some bowls. Place the bowls at least 15 feet away from the contestants, but further if you've got a competitive bunch. Each kid places a potato between their knees, and has to walk to the bowl and deposit it–no hands allowed.
Anyone who drops their potato before they get to the bowl has to run back to the starting line and begin again.
Have everyone lay on their backs, while one person stands and watches them. When the person standing up says, "Fire on the mountain," everyone has to leap to their feet as quickly as possible.
The person standing judges who was the slowest, and that person is out. The rest go back to their starting position and the game repeats.
But there's a twist to keep people from leaping up at the first sound of "fire." The person standing can say something other than "mountain"–maybe "marble" or "marker." If someone flinches or moves too early, they're out.
- Always remember to help include everyone when you play these active games with your children. Some games require more skill and strength than others, and less athletic children can become discouraged if they lose continuously.
- That's definitely not what you're after if you want to keep your children active, so try not to let older or more athletic kids dominate these active games, and make changes if you think it's necessary. If a rule isn't working for everyone–change it!
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