Seven ways to get children active outdoors
It's another bank holiday weekend. How do you keep children entertained at all times? Here are seven outdoor activities to keep children and the wider family occupied whilst getting lots of health benefits from being physically active. You might spot some hobbies from times gone by.
Modern life may revolve around more sedentary hobbies like playing computer games and watching television but what about some of the more forgotten pastimes that get you on your feet? A great way to improve children's strength, balancing skills and hand-eye coordination is hopscotch. It's an age-old activity that can be done anywhere. Why not see who knows the most unusual hopscotch songs to teach you something new? Alternatively, challenge children and adults to make up their own whilst hopping on one leg!
2. Grandmother's Footsteps
This game has had a variety of names across the world but the premise remains the same. Firstly, someone is chosen to be 'Grandmother' and must stand a distance away from everybody else with their back turned. Other players must attempt to venture forwards without being spotted in order to 'tag' the person at the front. The person at the front should frequently turn around and examine the 'statues' for any sign of movement and can send culprits back to the start! Anyone that makes it to the front before 'Grandmother' notices takes on the role next.
3. Outdoor bowling
Outdoor bowling has been around for centuries and can be done anywhere - on a lawn or in the middle of a street party. Why not pit children and parents or grandparents against each other and see who has the best aim?
Did you know that skipping counts as physical activity? It's a great way to get bodies working and hearts beating for a cardio workout. It can help with general fitness and coordination.
An easily-forgotten classic, there are a variety of skipping techniques and games to keep children and adults occupied, for example, swapping from one leg to the other. Alternatively, get everyone working together for a game of Double Dutch - you'll need two people to swing two skipping ropes in opposite directions whilst children (or grown-ups!) take it in turns to jump in the middle where the ropes cross.
5. Tug of war
Another way to get lots of people involved in one activity is a tug of war. Did you know there was a tug of war on Downing Street at the street party to celebrate Catherine Duchess of Cambridge marrying Prince William, Duke of Cambridge in 2011? Why not get everyone flexing their muscles?
For those who prefer something more sedentary to play in the sunshine, why not have a go at Jacks? This game has had many names over the years including 'Fivestones' and people have used a variety of objects to play it. See if any grandparents have a Jacks set or any five small objects will do. One way to play is to throw one of the objects up at a time whilst trying to pick up another before catching the first as it falls and so on.
7. Super Moving
Got some music? Anyone can be a Super Mover! All you need are some dance moves to get hearts pumping. Why not nominate someone to be your choreographer? Or if you are near to a screen, check out all of these Super Mover routines and challenges. Who has the best Super Moves?