Miss Beatrix Potter Hen

Miss Beatrix Potter Hen
Miss Bea posing for Mama!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Spring into Action – Simple Creative Physical Fitness Activities for Homeschoolers

Ah, spring is in the air! 

There's just something about the warmer sun filled days of spring that make you want to get up and move. Pack your winter blahs away with your coats and mittens and say hello to spring with these easy fun-filled activities that get you movin' and groovin'!

Rain is in the air too, though :( 

As homeschoolers and a family in general, we were never the sports participation type. Oh, we were active -- we walked, hiked and bicycled...in the nice weather. When it was raining cats and dogs, not so much. So, as a mom who was committed to my family's health and fitness, I rose to the challenge. I created some simple physical fitness activities -- no warm sunny days required. So, bring on the spring rain, but get fit without your umbrella.

Winter Wonderland Skating Party

Ice Skating isn't just a winter activity. It's great exercise any time of year. So pop on some skate-friendly music, don your slipperiest socks and "ice skate" around the kitchen. We always skated to the traditional, Winter Wonderland  by Anne Murray. Since we just happen to have a central island in our kitchen, we "skated" around in circles as if at a rink. Have hardwood floors? Even better! Let your children skate the day away. Hot cocoa with mini marshmallows, optional.

Marching Marathon

Marching is easy yet, it can work up a good sweat at the same time. A marching marathon can be played in a variety of ways. Play it like Simon Says. Or, choose a leader from names in a hat and that child can lead the marching mania all through the house. Show your children how to put a little oomph and style into marching -- tap their raised knees, raise their arms or flap their wings with each step, march double time for a spell, etc. Mom or Dad can also be the leader and either call out or demonstrate different marching variations. Spice it up even more with more complex patterns for older children such as march, march, march and kick. The possibilities are endless. So, march on..

Potato Sack Races 

Take a step back in time to the days of Laura Ingalls Wilder. Simpler time,simpler games. All you need for this activity are old pillow cases. Well, pillow cases and energy, that is. Simply gather your racers in the largest room of your house, hallway, etc. and have them step inside their "sacks". Ready, set, go and they're off. 

 Creative Strength Training

Have soup cans, will strengthen muscles! Everyone has a couple of soup cans sitting on their pantry shelf just waiting to feel usefull. There really is no need to purchase expensive hand weights, when ordinary soup cans will do the trick. Simply grab a soup can in each hand and demonstrate some basic arm movements. Again, this activity can be spiced up a bit with a variety of different moves. Your young weight lifters can circle their arms, flap their wings or even add a mini-marching marathon into the mix. Strong muscles are 
    healthy muscles!

Dance, Dance, Dance

Everybody can dance! Yes, you can. You don't have to be the next Fred Astaire or Ginger Rogers. You just have to move to the music. Dancing is GREAT fun and a fabulous way to get fit. And, dancing ties in well with almost any unti study that revolves around a specific time period. You and your children can boogie to Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy, dance the Charleston or waltz elegantly around the family room. Or, teach your children some classic yet young at heart dances -- do the swim, the mashed potato, the twist and many more. So, roll up those rugs and cut a rug with your kids! 

Fitness in a Jar

Fitness in a Jar was one of our all time favorite fitness activities. Great for a scheduled physical fitness class or just right for a much needed break from school work, Fitness in a Jar is a unique "get fit" adventure for your family. A simple yard sale cookie jar was home to a myriad of fitness exercises and "be healthy" acts. Simply, write out some basic exercises on index cards and illustrate with simple stick figure people. Add a bit of creative flair and F U N by including some family specific or special cards:

*Walk the dog
*Drink a glass of milk
*Choose ANY exercise
*Eat a healthy snack
*Do as many Jumping Jacks as Mom is "young" in years!

Anyway, I think you get the idea! 

Fitness works best for children when it's fun and not too challenging that they end up feeling frustrated and defeated. I think that goes for adults too! And, it's much healthier to start out slow and gradually work up to more challenging exercises and activities. 

So, get movin' and groovin' and start getting fit today!

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