Five Fun Ways to Keep Your Family Active

Even though we know that being active is important, I have to admit that, as a family, we’d rather lounge around the house and watch t.v. or read or play video games. In order to combat this inactivity, we try to think of fun ways to stay active. A fun activity or game can get us moving and help us to get up off the couch and be active. Here are five fun ways we’ve found to be a more active family.

Five ways to help your family stay active

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Make outside time a priority.

From the time the children were little, after lunch was time to go outside. No matter whether it was hot or cold or in between, I tried to get them outdoors for at least a little while. When they were younger, I went outside with them and thought of games we could play, or I took the kids walking around the neighborhood. As they got older, I stayed in and cleaned up after lunch and had a few quiet moments when I sent them outside.

Trade screen time for active time.

I’ve found one of the most effective ways to make sure the kids have some active time is to limit screen time. We have a set amount of screen time for the day. After that time is used, they can earn more by being active. A half hour of activity can earn another half hour of screen time. Often, they’ll get involved in an activity and have fun with it, so they forget about the time and continue the active play instead of heading back in to a screen.

Take advantage of local parks and playgrounds.

When the kids were younger, I liked to load up after lunch and head to the park. Even just an hour there gave us all some activity time. Because I was not at home, I was more likely to be active with the kids instead of feeling like I had to stay inside and do chores. And because we were at the park, they couldn’t whine about being bored and want to go inside after just a few minutes.

Play games.

The kids always enjoyed being outside and having active time when I would make up a game for us to play. It didn’t have to be anything elaborate. We could have a simple game involving catching a ball or racing to a specific place in the yard or playing a form of tag. But having a set game to play kept them interested in being outside and active.

Be active with a group.

Having friends to be active with makes it more fun. Over the years we’ve joined Kid Fit classes at the Y, participated in homeschool PE, met up with friends at the park, and gone on field trips that encouraged us to be active. Having a group to be active with made us more likely to get up and get moving and it provided something different and fun to do.

It’s sometimes hard to keep the family active in our culture of constant screens- television, computers, phones, tablets…- but with some planning, we can have fun, active times together.

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