TGIF it’s the weekend- so the big question is how will you spend it with your kids and Turn your Home into a fun physical activity zone in the winter? I remember when my daughter was about 2 years old, we attended a friend’s birthday party. I met a mom of 2-year-old twins, who very matter-of factly confided in me and the rest of the adults at the party that her children NEVER watched a television program, not a one!
Of course I was shell-shocked by her remarks and remember thinking how I couldn’t possibly fathom how she sustained her sanity minding two toddlers, whereas I could barely watch one, without the assistance of Barney, Teletubbies and my most treasured friends, the Sesame Street gang.
Later I found out this woman had a full-time nanny, cook and chauffeur to tend to all the busy work, which freed her up to entertain her toddlers. Unlike the rest of us moms who live in the real world, where all the housework falls on our shoulders, this mom never needed the television to baby-sit her kids when it was time to make dinner, vacuum or do the dishes!
Still, I confess I have used the television to soothe my kids on multiple occasions, which had nothing to do with getting household chores done uninterrupted.
In fact, my kids are starting to resemble little couch potatoes, whose breadth of exercise has been relegated to using their opposable thumbs to work the remote control.
So, I’ve instituted a “tune out the TV and tune up the exercise” challenge for my kids effectively immediately! And I encourage any beleaguered parent, fearful that her child has been seduced by the allure of television and is less than enthusiastic about exercising anything other than her thumbs to do the same.
To help you and myself kick-start the challenge, here are five simple tips to help turn your home into a fun physical activity zone in the winter.
Tape a shoelace to the floor in a straight line. Have your child stand on one side of the string with both feet together. Count to three, and cheer as he or she jumps over the string and back 10 times. Take a short break and do it again!
2 Double Time
When watching TV at home, do jumping jacks, pushups, or crunches during commercial breaks.
3- House Music
There’s no better way to get active than to dance! It doesn’t have to be perfect sometimes it’s more fun to be silly! Just turn up the music and move to the beat. Teach your kids to dance while they talk on the phone, watch TV, brush their teeth or clean their rooms or try to hop on one foot with your kids all the way through their favorite song.
4-Hoop it Yourself
A trash can (or even a box) makes a great indoor basketball goal perfect for a quick game of one-on-one.
Sit with your feet flat on the floor, knees bent. Lean back and place your hands flat on the floor behind you. Lift your seat off the floor, putting your weight on your hands and feet. Now, crab crawl around the room with your kids!
The bottom line: Kids just need get one hour or more of physical activity each day! The good news is that your kids 60 minutes of physical activity doesn’t need to happen all at once. If parents just help their kids get active for 10 or 15 minutes a few times a day, well that’s a job well done.
So what are some ways you and your kids are staying active this winter?