Integrated Family Community Services 3370 South Irving Street, Englewood, CO 80110-1816 Ph: 303-789-0501

4 Healthy Activities You Can Do as a Family

Want to set a good example for your kids about staying healthy, both mentally and physically, but not sure where to start? Here are some ideas for spending time together as a family while engaging in healthy activities for the body and mind.

4 Healthy Activities You Can Do as a FamilyUtilize Your Local Parks and Open Spaces

City planners always try to make sure their citizens have access to local park space, so utilize it! Take the kids out for a day at the park for a good chance to observe them at play with others in their age group. You can bond with other moms or dads as your children play together on gym structures, teaching your young ones from early on that it is important to stay active while letting the imagination run free. If your area has a natural preserve with a lake or hiking trails, pack a picnic and the family for a day of outdoor fun. It beats sitting around in front of the television and will be a good chance to bond while getting some much-needed exercise.

Swimming Lessons

Getting together in the pool for family swimming lessons gives kids another way to stay fit and have fun while learning valuable water safety. Swimming is great for aerobic exercise, but as the central activity for birthdays and BBQs to come for your children, the time is right to teach them how to be in the water. You can even find adult swim lessons in Houston that focus on breathing techniques, how the body moves in the water, arm and leg timing, and coordination for the four basic swim strokes. Swimming is excellent for cardiovascular health, and if you have a pool yourself at home, do not put off water safety for your children.

Healthy Food Cook-Offs

Get the kids involved cooking an evening meal while promoting healthy eating habits with a family healthy food cook-off. You can browse YouTube or check out Recipe.com for healthy recipes that would be fun to make as a family. Teaching young ones to know their way around the kitchen early promotes self-reliance in the teen years, while cooking can be a great way to bond between mother and father and sons and daughters, the payoff coming when you can all sit down for a friendly family meal that the kids felt like they had a part in putting together. Make clean-up part of your family cooking night ritual to take some of the burden off yourself and ensure this is one activity you will want to repeat week after week.

Pen and Paper Role-Playing Game Night

As important to a child’s development as his or her physical health is interpersonal skills and imagination. Old-school pen-and-paper role-playing games like Dungeons and Dragons may be a little too much to handle for younger children, but several games exist that have been built with kids in mind. Try Justin Halladay’s Hero Kids for a game that is simple enough for kids ages 4 to 10 to grasp, yet still well-rounded enough that the whole family can have fun going on adventures together and fighting mighty foes.

Help your kids make costumes or figurines for the characters they have created for an extra crafty bonus, then make it a regular family ritual to go on new and different campaigns as your little ones build confidence, imagination and group thinking skills. An RPG night does not need to be a sedentary affair, as you will be acting out campaigns and scenarios in costume in no time.

Imbuing your kids with healthy habits early will result in life-long lessons that can improve their health, happiness, and interpersonal skills.

Tim Esterdahl

Tim Esterdahl is the editor of IFCS blog. He is a married father of three and enjoys golf in his spare time.
Tim Esterdahl

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