We all know that the weather in Missouri can be unexpected, even in the summer. Rain, thunder/lightening, hail, extreme heat, and humidity are all common in the summer and fall months. On rainy and extreme heat days, don’t let your kids lay around all day watching TV. There are plenty of activities to keep your kids moving while indoors. Not only will your kids be happier when they are being active, they will also have reduced risk for: high blood pressure, high cholesterol, developing diabetes or, becoming overweight, . Additionally, they will likely have better sleep and be more equipped in handling physical and emotional challenges. Here are 15 indoor activities to do with your kids to keep you all moving this summer:
Freeze Frame: Gather a few stuffed animals, crank up the music, and dance until someone (Mom or Dad) pauses the music. Dancers must freeze, and if anyone moves before the music starts again, he must pick a stuffed “dance partner”. Keep dancing and pausing music until all the animals are in play. Then, when someone moves, he must take an animal from an opponent. Dance until one person has all the animals or you’re wiped out.
Make an Indoor Obstacle Course: Create an obstacle course in your living room. Have them climb over a mountain of pillows, throw a ball into makeshift hoop, hop over small objects, crawling through tunnels or boxes, or jumping rope. Have your kids help to create the obstacle course. They will have as much fun making the course as trying it out.
Mini Olympic Games: This activity would be good for older children. Games could include: bowling with a ball and plastic cups; shooting balls in makeshift hoop (like an empty trash can); a dance-off; balloon volleyball; or a paper airplane throwing contest.
Free Online Fitness Videos: Kid fitness videos are all over the internet now days. There are videos for young and older children. A perk to this is that you can have your kids do one of these fitness videos while you do your own workout.
Free Kid Fitness Videos:
Cosmic Yoga has kids do yoga poses that go along with a well-known story (such as Frozen, Harry Potter, or Star Wars): https://youtu.be/BEPxPkQY6V8
“Fitness with the Leader”: This is the same as the “follow the leader” game, but uses exercises (hop, skip, high knees, jumping jacks, etc) instead.
Heart Rate Check: Measure heart rates after doing various movements (hop, walk, jump, skip, etc.). Discuss the differences in heart rates based on the activity.
Jump Rope: Jumping rope is a great exercise and can be done in an open space, such as the living room or basement
Scavenger Hunt: Send your kids (or join them) on a scavenger hunt. When going from clue to clue, have your kids do different exercises (jump, hop on one foot, skip etc).
A Day at the Races: These fun races can help build strength and balance:
Wheelbarrow race. Walk on your hands while your partner “steers” by holding your legs.
Beanbag race. Walk-race with a beanbag on your head or clutched between your legs.
Crab race. Sit on the floor so your feet are flat, put your hands on the floor a little behind you, and push up onto your hands and feet. Scuttle backward or forward to the finish line.
Old Fashioned Games: Games like ring around the rosie, duck duck goose, and the hokey pokey can be done indoors when there is more than one child playing.
Move to your Imagination: Offer a few ideas for creative ways to move, and then let your kids' imaginations run free. Encourage them to bend all around like a tree swaying in the wind. Or they can use their arms to spin like a helicopter or zoom like a fire truck through the streets. Show them how to use their arms and legs to cut like scissors or twist their bodies into shapes of letters of the alphabet.
Indoor Snowball Fight: You don't need snow to let your kids have a snow day. First, clear away any breakables. Then, make snowballs by wadding up white socks, scrunching paper or tissue into balls, or squeezing and taping cotton balls together. If you want to really get serious, let the kids build forts with pillows, empty boxes, and blankets for hiding. Then stand back as they launch their attacks.
Play Parachute: You don't need a parachute to have fun with parachute-style games. All you need is a bedsheet, a large space like a garage, and a group of friends. Try putting balls on top of the sheet and have kids shake it vigorously to “pop” them like popcorn.
Or Parachute Tag: Have everyone lift the “parachute” high.Get two people to try to run underneath and trade places before it comes down.
Progressive Relaxation: Practice progressive relaxation, by tensing each body segment and then relaxing (head, neck, shoulders, right arm, right hand, left arm, left hand, etc.).
Written by; Vanessa Winegar, RD, LD
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