Escali’s Back-to-School Week Lessons: Phy. Ed

By Escali in Healthy Living

Active lifestyles, imagination and freedom to run and explore the world around them is crucial for children and proper development. The advent of video game systems have somewhat taken away that creativity and concept of reality of the world. Not to mention, the added violence that kids are exposed to is only desensitizing them to the actual violent acts themselves and could distort the reality of right vs. wrong and how they should treat others.  The more that a child can explore outside, play and bond with their parents and think freely, the better! It is recommended that children over the age of two are limited to no more than 1 or 2 hours of total screen media per day–that includes T.V. handheld video games, the computer, etc. According to compiled research from Douglas A. Gentile, Ph.D. and other childhood wellness groups, here are some alarming facts about children’s exposure to violence:

  • Sixty percent of cartoons and children’s shows contain violence
  • Children are exposed to 20-25 acts of violence per hour on Saturday morning television
  • By the end of elementary school, children will have seen approximately 8,000 murders and 100,000 other acts of violence

These facts are pretty disturbing when you really think about it and as a parent,  your ultimate goal is to limit their exposure to violence and other disturbing images. The best way to limit their exposure and promote personal creativity is to turn off the T.V., go outside…or if it’s too cold, set up some activities to keep them busy and enjoy your time together!

Integrating movement in creative ways can be very effective for kids that are glued to their controllers or shows. Here are 25 exercise games and fun indoor/outdoor activities from the book, Sneaky Fitness by Missy Chase Lapine:

  1. Headstands: Great for core muscles and gets blood going to the brain
  2. Jump Rope: If you live in an apartment complex and have downstairs neighbors, make sure to go into the hallway or outside. Make it into a contest!
  3. Balloon Ball: There are endless ways to play with balloons. Try to keep it off the ground or just play catch!
  4. Wheelbarrow, Crab & Bear-Walk Races: These tough positions mean you get a real workout
  5. Animal Races: Hop like a bunny or a frog, squat and waddle like a duck, etc.
  6. Obstacle Course: Create a furniture course in your home or take chalk and make a course on the sidewalk or driveway
  7. Follow the Leader: Add to the workout by doing energetic movements like jumping, stomping and squatting
  8. Dance Party: Turn on the music and shake your groove thang!
  9. Freeze Dance: When the music stops, freeze in your pose and hold it until the music starts again
  10. Scavenger Hunt: Write up clues and hide them around your house. Kids can race to find each clue for a small prize at the end.
  11. Jumping Jacks: Simple but good for coordination and they get your heart going. When the kids can’t sleep, make them move a little to tire them out–turn it into a competition for even more fun!
  12. Silly Shakes: Just like the old Raffi song, shake your sillies out! If you do it long enough, you’ll probably end up in a pile of giggles.
  13. Bubble Wrap Attack: If you get bubble wrap in the mail, jump on it until it’s all popped. Not only fun for kids but for adults too
  14. Clean-Up Race: Set a timer or put on a song and see who can put together the room the fastest.
  15. Tickle Tag: Chase the kids and when you catch them, tickle time!
  16. Temper Tantrum: Have a fit for the fun of it! Flail, stomp and scream!
  17. Carnival: Set up carnival games like knock down the milk cans–Tupperware works great
  18. Hallway Bowling: Fill up water bottles and use any ball you have
  19. Hopscotch: Use chalk or tape to make a game on the ground or get creative with other household objects!
  20. Pillow Fight: No explanation needed!
  21. Sock Skating: If you have hard floors, put on socks and skate around. See if you can do spins or hockey stops. Also see who can slide the farthest!
  22. Bubble Bashing: Blow bubbles and let your child try to catch as many as they can before they float to the ground
  23. Wrestling: Put down a mat or play on a rug or bed. See if your kids can wrestle you to the ground
  24. Pushover Mom & Dad: Plant your feet and see if the kids can budge you. If you move your feet, they win. To make is easier for little kids, you can stand on one foot
  25. Popcorn Pushups: Put a small bowl of popcorn on the floor. Lower yourself down and stick out your tongue to get a piece of popcorn with each pushup down

What are you waiting for? Put down your phone, turn off your computer & television and get moving!


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