In the cold, wet and windy UK winter weather are your kids spending more time inside, more time on screens and not getting enough exercise?
There are well known benefits to being physically active and for children this often occurs quite naturally if they are able to play outside. Sometimes it’s just too horrible to go out for long though, but fear not as there are still lots of possibilities for indoor fun which are great to get the kids active.
Here’s our top tips for encouraging indoor exercise (you can even join in as well!)
- Indoor Active Games
Often board or card games require children to sit still, but why not create your own which get the kids up and moving. Write a list of six activities, for example, hopping, star jumps, running with high knees and then roll a dice. The number on the dice can then correspond to one of the activities. Keep rolling the dice until all the activities have been completed. The number of star jumps, hops or whatever can be varied depending on the age of your children. You could also make a set of activity cards or a chatterbox which has activities to complete.
- Indoor Obstacle Course
Design an obstacle course and make a route in your house that the children have to complete. Think about what they can go around; is there something they can go over or through? Mark some spots where they have to complete some challenges like balancing on one leg for a period of time or touching their toes a number of times. You don’t need to start moving furniture around, although if you can this will certainly make it more fun!
- Indoor Exercise Equipment
There are many things that you can buy for children that are designed specifically for exercising and can be used indoors for example, kids mini trampolines, resistance bands and balance balls. However, there will be lots of things you already have in your house that make great pieces of exercise equipment. Do you have any stairs? What about something the right size and weight for your child to lift? Think about ways to incorporate everyday things into a mini work out.
- Indoor Disco
Put some music on and have a disco. Let your children create a playlist of their favourite songs. Try to encourage them to choose some fast and slow songs. Change the lighting if possible, draw the curtains and blinds to make it a bit darker. Do you have any props they can include to play with, aside from the obvious hairbrush to sing into? Why not have a family dance-off? Make up your own routines and get other family members to vote.
- Indoor Treasure Hunt
Hide some things around the house and then get the kids to find them. You can do this against the clock which should get them moving faster. Also, when finding the clues rather than walking around the house why not mix it up and make them crawl on their hands and knees or walk around on their tip toes. Make sure you hide things at different heights to encourage them to crouch down and stretch up.
- Indoor Party Games
Kids love good old-fashioned party games and these don’t have to be just for birthdays! How about playing musical statues or if you have more than one child musical chairs. Get some balloons to play with and have a competition to see how long you can keep it off the ground or just play catch with them.
If all else fails, get out your warmest clothes, waterproofs and wellies and brave the elements for a muddy walk or a trip to the local park.
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