Family fitness inspo when you’re bored with bushwalks
Lockdown has challenged all of us in many ways, but for families with young children and teens it’s been particularly tough. Home-schooling when you’re also working from home is enough to drive the most level-headed person nuts and don’t we all have a renewed respect for teachers? One important aspect of the school routine that many kids are missing is organised exercise. Some Sydney parents are even hiring personal trainers to get kids off their screens and reboot their appetite for exercise. That’s an expensive option but exercising, preferably outdoors, is as important for mental health as it is for maintaining fitness.
Now that we’re in the middle of the spring holiday, we’ve found some fun ways for keeping younger kids busy and fit (and parents sane).
Kickstarting and maintaining a routine
· Making time for exercising as a family is key to getting started, whether it’s first thing in the morning or after lunch – just pick a time that is easy for everyone to stick with.
· Keep it short and simple. Exercise is just about getting your body to move. Play some music and dance with the kids; go for a 20-minute walk in your neighbourhood (kids who don’t love walking can take bikes, scooters, roller skates or whatever gets them going); chalk up the footpath for hopscotch; set up competitions, such as skipping, basketball shooting, sack races, hula-hooping, limbo dancing – you’ll soon find activities that suit your kids’ interests, ages and fitness levels.
· If you don’t know who Joe Wicks is, join millions of adults and kids around the world who are fans of his wellbeing and fitness programs, which are televised live from the UK, available on his app or shown on YouTube.
· Establish a family yoga session. There are lots you can follow on YouTube for different age groups – try this 20-minute introductory class for children aged three to five, or the Karma Collection. Yoga has many health benefits – for example, improved breathing, flexibility and concentration – and scheduling a late-afternoon session helps calm everyone down.
Keep kids busy in your own backyard
· Set up a treasure hunt with their favourite treats and make it complicated so it will take up plenty of time.
· Buy a trampoline. They’re not cheap but provide hours of fun and exercise. Check this guide for advice on a tramp that is good quality and will be used by the family for years.
· Organise a thong-throwing competition.
· Suggest water fights on a hot day – you just need a pack of balloons and an outside tap.
· Buy a croquet set. The game can be intellectually challenging as well as a lot of fun for the whole family and you can buy a set designed for kids for less than $50.
· Check out Jenjoes range of outdoor games and play equipment, for ideas to adapt or games to buy.
· Bribe kids to help you with the gardening or encourage them to grow their own patch of flowers and veggies.
Rainy days and indoor activities
Most non-screen indoor activities are more about keeping kids busy rather than keeping fit. Cooking is always a good one and the Canvas Factory has some really imaginative craft projects. Here are a few more ideas you could expand on:
· Take a video of a kids’ dress-up session – give them a theme to challenge their imaginations.
· Organise an indoor treasure hunt.
· Use masking tape to make a toy-car race track.
· Introduce kids to classic board games – Monopoly, Scrabble, Pictionary, Trivial Pursuit – and teach them how to make and fly paper planes.
· Take Lego to new levels; have a look at ideas.lego.com.
Having lived and worked in The Hills District for a long time, our team at Westons Property & Co knows the region intimately. If you have any lifestyle, home or property related questions, feel free to give us a call.