Pediatricians recommend that children six years and older get at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day. Physical activity can improve your child’s strength, build their endurance, and help them develop strong bones and lean muscles.
It can also help them develop the motor skills and coordination they’ll need throughout their lives.
Not every child enjoys the same healthy activities, though. Instead of leaving your child to discover their preference alone, make it a family endeavor.
Here are 10 health family activities you can try together. With this list, you can explore different options as a team. Then, your child can find a physical activity they love to get the 60 minutes of movement they need.
Keep reading to discover our list of healthy activities for families!
1. Head out for a Walk
The good ol’ outdoors! If you want to help your child remain healthy and active, suggest going for a walk after dinner. Walking is an easy, effective way for everyone to get in a little exercise after a long day.
If walking long around the neighborhood doesn’t interest your child, that’s okay!
Consider making it more than a walk. Instead, get your child involved as you pack a healthy picnic lunch for the family. Then, have them help you mix up a bowl of homemade trail mix and pack a few water bottles.
Once you’re packed, lace up your sneakers and suggest a hike or nature walk.
Walking outside will help your family soak up some essential vitamin D. Vitamin D helps:
- Protect against diabetes
- Boost immunity
- Combat depression
- Decreases cardiovascular disease
- Reduce cancer risks
- Support healthy bones
- Reduce Alzheimer’s risk
- Reduce rheumatoid arthritis
If you can, pick a scenic train or explore a mountainous area. Otherwise, take a walk in a park or by a pond. Try to do a little research beforehand, too.
You can keep your child engaged during your walk by having them search for flowers or birds during your hike.
2. Dance It Out
A “random dance party” is a great way to get your child active and moving!
Have them choose their favorite song and crank up the volume. Then, show off your best moves. Encourage your child to make up their own moves or test out yours.
Dancing is a great way to get the blood pumping! Try killing the lights and adding some lava lamps or funky lighting to encourage kids to get their groove on. You can also have your kids compete by creating the best dance move.
Otherwise, encourage your child to make up a dance routine for the full song.
If your child loves twirling and spinning, consider signing them up for ballet dance classes to keep them active!
3. Try a New Sport
There are so many different sports you and your kids can try together. Don’t limit yourself to basketball or soccer at home. Instead, explore new sports and share new experiences as a family.
Here are a few sports you can try together:
- Ice hockey
Testing out new sports will help your child find a means of staying active as they grow older.
4. Get Actively Aerobic
If your children don’t show excitement over a specific sport, that’s okay. Instead, suggest heading outside to soak up the sun. While you’re outside, see if your kid wants to try one of these moderate-intensity aerobic exercises:
- Brisk walking
- Bike riding
- Jump roping
- Games like tag
You don’t have to pose it as getting physically active. Instead, suggest these healthy activities as new ways to have a little fun.
“Exercising” sometimes acts as a trigger word with kids. Sports, meanwhile, come with a list of rules and regulations. Instead of framing it as exercise, make aerobic activities a chance for everyone to get out and burn off some steam!
5. Strengthen Up
Kids love copying their parents. Encourage your child to strengthen their bones and muscles by demonstrating resistance and weight-bearing activities.
For resistance activities, try:
- Push-ups (or modified push-ups for younger kids)
- Sit-ups (curl-ups or crunches)
- Rope or tree climbing
- Swinging on jungle gym bars
- Resistance exercises using resistance bands
For weight-bearing activities, try:
- Hopping, skipping, jumping
- Jumping rope
Hold a competition to see who can do the most push-ups. Demonstrating these healthy activities will encourage your child to try them, too.
6. Arrange a Scavenger Hunt
Scavenger hunts are a great way to encourage kids to run around. Hide items throughout the backyard and in your home. Then, give them a clue and a time limit.
See how quickly they can run around and find everything on your list.
7. Use Wii Fit
40 million children under the age of five were overweight or obese in 2018.
Obesity can lead to a number of future health problems, including:
- Heart disease and stroke
- High blood pressure
- Breathing problems
- Gallbladder disease
- Some cancers
Don’t leave your child at risk. Instead, use these fun, healthy activities to get your child active. By introducing them to these activities while they’re younger, you can get them moving and active before obesity enters the conversation.
Wii Fit is a great way to use technology to your advantage. Instead of having your child sit in front of the TV, have them get active in front of it.
Use Wii Fit to have them work out using fun and active kids’ games!
8. Build an Obstacle Course
Draw a maze on the driveway or build an obstacle course inside using couch cushions. Try to construct a challenging obstacle course that encourages your child to think and get active!
You can also create a course in the backyard if you need more room.
9. Have a Clean Up Race
Need to clean up the house? Turn it into a series of healthy family activities! Host a clean-up race to see who can pick up a room the fastest.
This is a great way to benefit your child’s body and your home.
10. Play a Game
Remember playing Red Light, Green Light as a kid? Encourage your child to play the same game in the backyard. Old, classic games can help your child exercise and learn how to follow directions.
Happier, Fitter Families: 10 Top Healthy Activities for Families
It’s time to get fit as a family! With these 10 healthy activities, you can get everyone running, sweating, and having fun together.
Searching for more healthy parenting tips? Explore the Health and Wellness section of the blogs on Cyber Parent today for family tips and strategies.