According to research, four out of five children in Ireland do not get the recommended 60 minutes of exercise on a daily basis, and it is no surprise that as a result, one in four children is carrying extra weight. Let’s make it time to get active with these fun games to play with kids that will get the family exercising:
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We know how hard it can be for busy parents to ensure their kids are active every day, and with this in mind, so here are our top tips for getting children moving in ways that are easy to organise, easy on the wallet, and easy to maintain.
The games suggested below are designed to be fun, fast and free and can involve the whole family. Children of all abilities can take part, and the objective isn’t to find the best, the fastest or the strongest child – it is merely about getting having fun and achieving a healthier, more active lifestyle.
Play them in your garden, in the park, at the beach, in a field, wherever you can get out and everybody running. And if it’s rainy, bring the games indoors.
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Active Games to Play with Kids
#1. Obstacle Course
Build a fun obstacle course to get the whole family running, jumping, hopping and crawling. See who can complete it the quickest, and challenge yourself to beat your own time.
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#2. Musical Creepy Crawlies
Lie on your back with your arms and legs wiggling in the air. When the music stops, jump up. The last one up is out.
#3. Penguin Shuffle
Stand side by side, with a bean bag or something soft resting on your feet. Shuffle across the floor in a penguin-like fashion. The first person to the other side wins.
You’ll need a skipping rope or rope to play tug-of-war. Why not try different teams among the family to see which combination is the strongest?
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#5. Hit the Deck
Pick 4 activities that everyone can have a go at. Using a deck of cards, one person selects a card and the family have to do a different activity for each suit.
- Hearts = Skip for 1 minute
- Diamonds = Play hopscotch
- Clubs = Run around the garden 3 times
- Spades = 5 burpees
#6. Tightrope Walk
Find a line or put out a rope that you can walk along as your tightrope. Walk one foot right in front of the other without falling off the line or rope. See how many times each person can walk the tightrope without falling off.
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#7. Freeze Tag
When the person who is “It” tags you, you must freeze in your exact position. Frozen people can be freed if another player crawls through their legs. The game ends when everyone is frozen.
#8. Cotton Wool Race
Each player starts with a bowl of cotton wool balls. At the end of the garden is an empty bowl for each player. Using a spoon, players must move all the cotton wool balls to the empty bowl, one at a time.
#9. Family Frisbee
Get the family together in the garden for a game of Frisbee. Or instead of the usual Frisbee throwing, try Frisbee bocce:
- Give each player a Frisbee and have players form a line.
- The first player rolls a tennis ball forward as far as they can.
- Then each player takes a turn tossing his Frisbee, trying to make it land on the ball.
- If any player’s Frisbee lands on the ball, they win the round and get two points.
- Otherwise, the player who throws his Frisbee closest to the ball wins the round and gets one point.
- The first player to accumulate five points wins the game.
#10. Blob Tag
When the person who is “It” tags someone, they join hands and chase the others together. Eventually you have the whole family (the Blob) chasing one or two. The game ends when the Blob has caught everyone.
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