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Friday, January 9, 2009

10 Ways To Get Your Kids Some Exercise While At Home

Ewwww... winter slush!!! Who wants to go outside anyway. Stuck in the house with restless kids? Here are some ideas to get them moving and work off some energy:

1) Laundry: our laundry room is downstairs and my four year old is always eager to help carry items upstairs. As I fold most of the clothes, I give him one item at a time to bring upstairs and put away. He loves it and keeps coming back down for more.

2) If your child is old enough to follow instructions and can be trusted with a spray bottle, fill one with water only and have him or her wash the walls. My daughter enjoys this one. There is enough reaching, bending and squatting with this task to provide a bit of a workout.

3) One word: Wii!!! We don't have one yet, but it's on our list.

4) Two words: Smart Cycle!!! We have this and love it. For the uninitiated, it's an exercise bike with game cartridges that plugs into the TV. They "race" and play other games, having a grand old time as they furiously pedal away.

5) Create a "running zone". For us it's the hallway by the bedrooms. If it's clear of toys and other obstructions, it's a safe place for them to run their sillies out. They are allowed to run there, but not anywhere else in the house.

6) Make putting away toys a game, such as a race. Require that they take the toys to a different room, such as from the living room to their bedrooms, so that there's walking involved. One of the rules of the game can be that they can only carry one toy at a time, to increase the number of trips they have to make.

7) Do some exercise yourself and make room for them to participate with you. I have an exercise video that my kids love to follow along to, with or without me!

8) Encourage them to play hide and seek - it's more active than computer games or watching TV.

9) Silly dancing: clear enough room on the floor and play one of their music Cd's, and see who can be the silliest dancer.

10) If they really want to watch TV, encourage them to watch "get up and move" shows such as "Bo On The Go" or "Yo Gabba Gabba"
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