Monday, November 7, 2011

How to Use Games as Exercise for Kids

      It's important for kids to exercise in order to maintain a healthy weight and develop good fitness habits, but if it's not fun, kids won't be interested. Kids' fitness games need to incorporate excitement, imagination and variety, without being overly complicated.
1. Organize the kids. If you have a large group of children, you might need to split them up into groups to play a few individual games. If you do this, make sure you have at least one adult to supervise each group. For a simple organization technique, have the kids count off to form the number of groups you need.
2. Start off with a game that allows the kids to warm up their muscles, such a Red Light, Green Light. Have the kids line up side by side. Turn your back on them and call, "green light!" The kids run toward you until you call "red light!" and turn around. The kids have to freeze before you turn around, and any youngsters caught moving goes back to the starting line. The first one to reach you wins the game.
3. Increase the activity level with a game that involves constant movement. Split the kids into two teams and give them a ball. Have the teams play keep away. You can add rules, such as anyone who drops the ball must spin in a circle three times before returning to the game. 
4. Allow the kids to take frequent breaks and encourage them to drink plenty of water. You must make sure they stay hydrated, especially in hot weather.
5. Put a fun spin on old classics, such as Tag. Instruct the kids to crab walk, rather than run, to chase down their playmates. 
6. Take advantage of learning opportunities. Explain who Marco Polo was before you organize the game.
7. Ask the kids which games they want to play. They've likely invented many of their own fitness-friendly games.

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