Most parents have plenty of responsibilities in addition to our children— life is busy. At a recent dinner, a friend made a comment regarding kids that pretty much summed it all up. He said, “…you know, with kids, you just got one go round and that’s it.” So simple, yet so profound. His comment really did sum up what for me amounts to a lot of pressure to create fun memories for my kids when I spend time with them. But of course, what we find fun is different from what the kids find fun. There is the rub. So how do you create kids activities that are fun and get them running around and breathing hard. Here are some really fun kids’ activities you can do with them that will be fun for them, fun for you, and make you a parenting rock star!
Pick 4-6 items children can find in your local area. This does not have to be a park, it could be downtown or in a mall if it is raining (of course rain adds another element of fun because rain boots are cool). For smaller children, stick with them and give very specific hints on how they can locate their target. For older children, pair them up and have them work as teams. Give them a time limit and maybe have them compete for a prize to get them moving.
Kids love it when parents get silly. It doesn’t take much to have them rolling on the floor laughing and you don’t even have to be a comedian. There are different names for it, but I call it Karate Master. I pretend to leave the house. I tell the kids I have to go to the store. I then go outside where I put on a headband, a silly wig, or even a robe. I knock on the door. When they answer, I come in and yell “Karate Master” in a silly voice. This stems a pillow fight/ wrestling match of epic proportions. Kids go flying, I roll around with them and they are laughing, jumping, wrestling, but most of all using those little muscles. If you’re concerned about roughhousing, take a look at this article on the subject.
Can your child ride a bicycle? I mean, can they really ride? This will require you to practice a bit on your bicycle. Have your kids strap on their helmets and follow the leader (that’s you). This game of follow the leader is a bit different. Instead of taking them through the neighborhood bicycle path in a straight line, you take them through tight turns and between natural obstacles. You don’t need a lot of space, in fact, you can set up obstacles in a driveway for a challenge course. This will give your children biking skills above and beyond most of the crowd. When other kids are using a combination of their front tire, helmet and bushes as a primary braking system, your kid will literally be riding circles around them.
In the police academy, it’s important for trainees to get a workout every day. With the academic volume they have to consume in such a short time, there’s not much time for long extended workouts. Welcome to the podium the Sprint 15 workout. This is where recruits start out doing 15 pushups, they run across a field and drop to do 15 sit-ups. They then run back and do 14 push-ups, and back across for 14 sit-ups. They continue this until they get to zero. At the end, they have completed 120 push-ups and sit-ups and sprinted 300 yards! The beauty of this is that it is infinitely adjustable. You can have them do sprint 5’s and they run a shorter distance. You can add distance, add the number of sit-ups and push-ups. You can even change the activity to jumping jacks or patty cake! It’s whatever you want.