Play Every Day!
All family members should be effective role models by participating in all of the guidelines below:
- Moderate, fun, physical activity: try for at least a total of 60 minutes every day (which can be spread out in 10 to 15 minute intervals), and include outdoor activity whenever possible.
- Vigorous, fun, physical activity three days a week: aim for 20 minutes total on these days and include outdoor activity whenever possible.
- Bring adults and kids together in physical activities in order to provide opportunities for connecting and modeling positive behavior.
- Limit screen time to less than two hours per day (television, video games, computer). Meals should not be consumed in front of a screen.
Tennis Ping Pong Play tennis ping pong with a volleyball, soccer ball, basketball, bouncy ball, etc. at a local tennis court. You could even draw a line (to replace a net) on the driveway if a tennis court is not available. Use your hands as paddles (carry it over or catch and throw, especially with the heavier ball) and follow ping pong rules. With the tennis court as the ping pong table the only exception to ping pong rules will be that you are able to stand on the ‘table'!
Dinner vacations at home For fun ask “where's dinner” meaning where shall we eat tonight?
It could be on the porch or the patio, on the stairs or the family room floor as if an indoor picnic.
Consideration of what types of food to be served is important. With chairs and blankets make a tent and pretend you are far far away and describe what it's like where you are and what "foods" you're having there. Ask questions like is it sandy, hot or cold, any animals lurking around?
Park Play Day Have a community garden host a Family Garden Club. Park Play Day could include Kite-Flying, Kick-ball and Arts n Crafts. Park Arts n Crafts portion could include families making row markers for the vegetable garden.
Walking Obstacle Course Go for a family walk and every few minutes or at the end of each block perform an activity for one minute to increase everyone's heart rate. Try lunges, jumping jacks, mountain climbers or running in place.
The Great Outdoors Search for a park or trail near your home and plan for a family hike. Pack a healthy sack lunch and make a day out of it.
Jug Catch Kids ask a grown up to help you. Cut a one-gallon plastic jug (like a milk jug) in half horizontally. Recycle the bottom half of the jug, but save the top half with the handle and keep the cap. Grown-ups cover the cut edge of the jug with duct tape. Cut and decorate a jug for everyone in the family.
Now two or more family members can play together using the jugs to toss a tennis ball or beanbag back and forth. See if you can toss and catch without touching the ball with your hands. In the warmer months try tossing water balloons back and forth. The jug can also be used by one family member, toss the ball in the air and catch it using the jug, see how many successful tosses and catches you can make in a row.
Track Your Fun Wear a pedometer (a gadget that counts your steps) and track your movement. Everyone in the family can wear them and compare steps at the end of the day. Set goals or have contests. You may decided to give out prizes for the most steps in one day or one week.
Musical Meals After family dinners (other meals), turn on music and dance, play musical chairs, or make up a family dance routine/skit that you practice a couple of evenings a week.