Let’s be honest, there isn’t enough time in the day. As parents we want to be able to teach our kids a healthy lifestyle, the importance of family, and what fun should really look like. That seems to be near impossible these days, even when we’re getting only 4 hours of sleep.
When you add in the time you spend working, or the time spent doing things for yourself, it’s almost as if you have to choose which life lesson is going to be more important. Not anymore.
To get your creative juices flowing I’ve put together 10 fun AND healthy activities that you can do with your kids. These activities are going to help you deliver the messages you want to your kids. You’ll be able to accomplish things while you do them, while they learn some of the most important lessons in life. Number 5 is my personal favorite.
- Penny hike – Maybe you did this when you were little. Collect pennies or take them out of a piggy bank. Start outside the front door of your house and at every corner or turn, flip a penny. If it lands on heads go right, tails, go left. Try to increase the amount of pennies you take with you to take longer walks.
- Plant something – A tree? A rose bush? Anything that you feel your child might be interested in, teach them to take care of it and learn how it grows. Plant it in a place at a healthy hike’s distance from home and do weekly expeditions together to add to the fun.
- Stargazing – You can purchase a high quality telescope quite cheaply nowadays but stargazing doesn’t necessarily have to involve using a telescope. Find things in the stars and travel to a place where they are more visible. Draw them out and name them. This activity is an excellent complement to a wonderful camping trip. Make sure you create a comfortable environment: bring reclining chairs, some fun music on your mp3-player playing loungy or their favorite music.
- Host a play – You can do this with some other kids in the neighborhood as well. Let them take their favorite story and act it out for you (in costumes if you can). Self confidence, creativity and learning to cooperate will be the big takeaways for your little one(s) here.
- Cook together – To us, food is incredible. Cooking is a valuable life skill, teach your kids the basics early and have fun creating new things. Even if it’s going to be disgusting, let them explore. It’s also a great way to playfully show them what a healthy meal looks like. They might even like it so much they will turn into your personal health conscious chef over time!
- Have a fort war – Take the time to build your own fort and challenge your kid to build one better. Help them think outside of the box and understand how structures work. The physical activity is an added bonus.
- Take pictures – Children are naturally curious, and the process of taking a beautiful photograph plays right into their curiosity. Take them out into nature and ask them what they want to photograph. Learn about the birds, the trees and mountains you’re taking pictures of. Back home, take the time together to create a beautiful picture book or collage.
- Get dirty – We mean really dirty. Play in the mud and let your freedom shine. Don’t be afraid to get messy and show your kids that not everything is serious. It will be a welcome little escape from the mold for yourself as well.
- Create a miniature golf course – This is something that might be more geared towards teenagers. Have them create challenging obstacles and then challenge each other to a game. Ignite creativity and competitive spirit.
- Make random smoothies – Take a trip to the store and ask your kid to pick some vegetables or fruit they’ve never tried. Let them be a little destructive and throw them all into a blender. Stuck for ideas? Here’s a list of 99 smoothy options!
All of these activities have two things in common. They’re great for both of you and they spark a healthy interest. It can be learning something new, discovering a skill, getting exercise, or unleashing creativity. Either way your sprout and you will have a ton of fun doing them. Plus, if you do number five, you won’t have to worry about what to cook for dinner.