I was never the kind of kid who liked fitness. I’d rather read a book or draw instead of play outside. In an absolutely ironic twist of fate, I’m now a Youth Exercise Specialist and Certified Personal Trainer. For my kids, that means that physical fitness is just a natural part of their daily homeschool lives. Instead of conforming to the traditional notion of “PE Class”, we do things a bit differently to make physical fitness fun. Here are five of our favorite homeschool physical fitness activities.
Homeschool Physical Fitness Activities
1. Take a Hike
There’s something about being out in nature that just makes everything right after a tough homeschool week. We try to take to the trails at least once a week to get in a good stretch of the legs, breath in some fresh air, and work our lower body muscles. Hiking is a great low-impact cardio exercise that can be easily adapted for age and skill level.
2. Just Dance
With two-left feet, I usually score the fewest points during our Just Dance competitions, but that’s okay. The kids are always enthusiastic in the competition and we always end up laughing hysterically. It’s become our go-to if we’re having a rough day and stuck inside due to the weather.
Playing catch with a ball is fun, but playing Frisbee gets you moving. Since we don’t always have the best aim, there’s usually quite a bit of running to catch the disc – which makes for great cardiovascular exercise. It’s also helped develop their hand-eye coordination which is really important for their development.
4. Hopscotch & Mazes
When the sun is shining and the driveway is warm, we break out the sidewalk chalk and get drawing. Hopscotch always makes an appearance and is one of my favorite games for increasing balance, coordination, and hand-eye coordination. The kids just see it as fun. I also like to draw long, twisty lines on the pavement and create walking mazes. Going forward, one foot in front of the other, is fun, but going backward is a true challenge. The best part? Mazes are fabulous balance builders!
If you’ve ever chased after a Birdie, you know that badminton isn’t as easy as it seems. It’s a good cardio workout that puts a lot of emphasis on hand-eye coordination skills. If badminton isn’t a favorite of your family’s, volleyball is a terrific alternative.
The key to incorporating physical fitness into your homeschool is to make it fun. Games and activities that mimic play are ideal, because they’re natural extensions of childhood. If you want to add a bit of health into the lessons, try taking heart rates before and after an activity to see if there’s a difference. And, most importantly, make sure your kids drink plenty of water and stay hydrated during whatever activities you choose.
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