Fun Fitness Games for Kids
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Kids enjoy playing computer and video games, but occasionally forget it is fun to play outside games, too. With the rise of childhood obesity, finding ways to challenge your children to stay active and fit can help your child's health. Make a list of fun fitness games that your child and his friends can play. When he starts spending too much time inside, send him outside to move his body and have fun at the same time.
Neuron Jump Rope
Jumping rope is more difficult than it looks. Working your legs and arms to jump and turn the rope at the same time is a good form of exercise. Give your child a jump rope and teach her to play Neuron Jump Rope. After she chants the following rhyme, count the number of times she jumps quickly without missing. Chant, "Neuron, neuron in my brain. How many neurons will I gain?" Have your child jump as fast as possible to see how many neurons she gets. Challenge her friends to a contest and see which child gets the highest score.
Children often enjoy competing with each other. Set up a fitness challenge for your child and his friends. Hold the challenge once a week and chart how quickly your kids improve. Make a list of five fitness challenges and leave a place to record each person's results. The Family Education website suggests including aerobic activities like running. Challenge the children to run 50 yards, perform the standing long jump, do pushups for one minute, swing on the monkey bars, and ride a bike around cones set up on your driveway. Tailor the activities to your child's age and interest level.
Cross Over Relay
Challenge your child to improve her fitness level by showing her how to play Cross Over Relay with a few of her friends. The game's combination of running and throwing helps her coordination and works her heart. Divide the group into two teams and designate a starting and goal line. Mark the goal line within throwing distance of the start. Ask the children to form a single file line behind the start. Yell, "Go," and watch as the first child in each line runs to her goal line while carrying a volleyball. As soon as she crosses the goal, tell her to turn around and throw the volleyball to her next teammate. Whichever team gets all its members to the goal line first wins.
Crossing the Stream
If your child plays basketball or another sport that requires jumping ability, let him play Crossing the Stream to strengthen his leg muscles. On your driveway or blacktop, begin drawing two chalk lines to stand for a stream. Widen and narrow the distance between the two lines but do not draw the lines farther than 4 feet apart. Designate crossing points and ask your child to jump from one side of the "stream" to the next. Have him jump with both feet together, as well as take large leaps across.
Diane Lynn began writing in 1998 as a guest columnist for the "Tallahassee Democrat." After losing 158 pounds, she wrote her own weight-loss curriculum and now teaches classes on diet and fitness. Lynn also writes for The Oz Blog and her own blog, Fit to the Finish. She has a Bachelor of Science in finance from Florida State University.