It's cold outside. You and your family are spending more time indoors and are less likely to be physically active. Want to get them moving again? Imagination is in order at this time of year!
As a teacher, I am constantly using my imagination to inspire my students to enjoy physical education. Coming up with new ideas not only keeps me fresh but is fantastic for my students because they never know what to expect. Surprises work wonders with everyone! Here are a couple of ideas that you can do at home as a family. Just remember, use your imagination and let your family help you with this; you may learn something!
Have you ever timed your family to get chores done or a task that you have given them to complete? All you need is a wristwatch on your arm with a second hand. With expression in your voice, say something such as, "How long will it take you to run out to the mailbox, pick up the mail and come back? Ready, set, go!" It works and the children will love you for this!
Another idea: if the children have been playing with toys in a specific room, come in and make your announcement, "How long will it take you to pick up the toys and place them back where they belong? Ready, set, go!" This is a fun way to teach children responsibility about picking up after themselves. If your spouse or significant other has a tendency to drop clothes all over the place, make it into a contest to see who can get that particular area clean first! A little competition never hurt anyone.
If you live in an area of the country where you get snowfall, think of something old fashioned that worked for you as a child. Announce to your family that there is a surprise waiting outside the door. Have the entire family dress for the weather and go outside, build a snowman, build a snow fort or have a race in the snow around the house. By engaging outdoors, you will find your energy levels soar because, exercise promotes activity in your body both with your muscles and your brain.
For something outside the box, that's grabbing hold throughout the United States, try geocaching. Have you heard of it? It's a live treasure hunt. People have hidden little treasures throughout bike trails and most likely in your own neighborhood. When you find a cache, you take out the item or write in a log book. It's never the same and you never know what you'll find. You may get a hint but that is it. If you decide to take the item out to re-hide it somewhere else, you must replace it with a new item to hide. Those are the rules. Sound fun? Look here for more information: www.geocaching.com
There are more ways to workout then running on a treadmill or going to a class. Get out there, get outside to rediscover the kid in all of us. Have fun and enjoy your new adventures!
Michele Batz is a 30-year veteran in the physical education field, with a master's and PhD in holistic nutrition and a master's in Administration. She's been a Fitness writer for the past 7 years to help motivate not just in the physical sense but also the creative. The arts with movement is an element she is working on in her classes and with the help of CATCH (Coordinated Approach To Children's Health) to combine all elements of leading a healthy, active life. CATCH involves the whole school community, physical education teachers, classroom teachers, cafeteria, parents and the community. This is a wonderful way to educate our youth to fight children's obesity. Michele enjoys her life with her husband and son, living in Illinois. Visit her blog at mbatz.blogspot.com.