Kids are naturally active and love to move around. However, children from today’s generation are increasingly living sedentary lifestyles. They live holed up in the house watching TV or playing video games.
While purchasing online gaming servers is fine, your kid also needs to find a healthy balance and get physically active.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that nearly 28% of Americans, or 80.2 million people, aged six and older, are physically inactive. Regular physical activity is healthy and can help delay, prevent, or manage most chronic diseases. Experts recommend at least an hour of daily outdoor physical activities for kids to keep them healthy and happy.
Health Benefits of Getting Outside and Becoming Physically Active
When your child becomes active, the body becomes strong enough to do the activity they want and need them to do. The advantages go above and beyond physical abilities, improving their mental health. Here are some of the benefits of regular exercise for kids.
I. Developing Healthy Bones
Getting your child active can help them develop strong bones while they are young. The bone adapts to regular exercise by building more bone tissue and becoming denser. The National Institute of Health says frequent exercise can help kids reach a greater peak bone density than individuals who do not. Good bone health can help prevent conditions such as osteoporosis.
II. Build a Healthy Heart
Jumping, running, and skipping are excellent aerobic exercises for children that can help strengthen their hearts. The heart is a muscle and will become stronger and more efficient with regular outdoor physical activities for kids. Frequent workouts can help ward off cardiovascular disease, a leading cause of death in the US.
III. Improve Muscle Coordination
Outdoor physical activities for kids can help build their physique. The games and exercises improve their energy levels as they burn calories. The child can benefit from better strength and muscle control as they run, grab, and throw items in the backyard.
IV. Improve Cognitive Abilities
Exercise stimulates brain growth by creating new neural pathways. Researchers report that physical activities lead to better concentration and improved focus. The child also develops better sensory responses and are less impulsive.
V. Regulates Blood Pressure
Regular physical activity makes the heart stronger. It also increases the flexibility of the blood vessels, causing the blood to flow more easily. A healthy heart and less stiff vessels can help control your kid’s blood pressure. Besides, children who participate in exercise and outdoor games have lower stress levels. It can help reduce the risk of developing heart disease.
VI. Better Sleeping Patterns
Outdoor physical activities for kids can also help them develop their circadian rhythm patterns. Exposure to sunlight tunes their ‘inner’ clocks through light cues, allowing them to sleep better at night. An active lifestyle also decreases signs of stress, anxiety, and depression, common causes of insomnia. The exercises can help improve the quality of their nighttime sleep.
VII. Improve Balance and Posture
Regular exercise can help your child be more physically coordinated. Physical activities strengthen their core muscles, which improves their balance and posture. It also helps to improve their spatial awareness and prevent injuries.
VIII. Enough Vitamin D
Outdoor activities can help kids get their dose of Vitamin D through exposure to sunlight. Vitamin D plays a critical role in keeping their bones, teeth, and muscles healthy. It also provides improved resistance to certain diseases.
IX. Improved Emotional Well-Being
Getting physically active can enhance your kid’s mood and overall well-being. Scientists report that exercise causes beta-endorphins release, which can help them deal with stress and pain. Feeling more energetic and sleeping better at night can create positive moods for your child.
X. Less Risk of Developing Chronic Diseases
Outdoor physical activities for kids can help them burn more calories as they play, regulating their blood glucose levels. Exercises can help prevent and reduce the risk of developing conditions such as Type 2 diabetes and obesity.
24 Activities to Get Your Kids Outside
There are many outdoor physical activities for kids that can keep your child occupied. Here is a list of 27 fun outdoor exercises and games that your children can engage in—some of the activities they can do on their own or with a friend. However, most of them are best enjoyed in a group setting.
One of the best ways to get your child to exercise is by getting them a bike. You may also opt to build custom bikes with them in your garage. After assembling the tri-cycle, let them push the pedals happily down the street. You can find quiet stress or safe bike trails within your neighborhood for them to cycle.
You can also get your child wet at the pool. Swimming is the fourth most popular recreational activity in the USA. Pay for their swim lessons during the summer break. You can also take them to the community pool for a dive that will keep your kid happy and healthy.
Another popular outdoor activity for kids is skating. You can opt for quad or in-line skates. If you live near an ice rink, take them for ice skating. Enroll them in a roller-skating class. Remember to keep them safe by having a helmet and protective pads on.
4. Grow a Garden
Outdoor physical activities for kids, such as gardening, can help them reconnect with nature. Let them rake, dig, and weed as they tend to their flowers. While keeping them engaged, the garden may also provide vegetables necessary for a balanced diet.
5. Fly a Kite
You can get your child outside by buying them a kite. You may also opt to build one with them, making it a good bonding session. Take the new kite out on a windy day. Let your child run across the park as the kite glides behind them.
6. Play Soccer
You can also accompany your seven-year-old to the field for a soccer match. Let them join the local soccer team and enjoy seeing them play. While your kid may get all sweaty, running after the ball will improve their muscle tone, heart health, and bone strength.
7. Get a Bounce House
Organize for a kid’s party at your home and bring out the bounce house. The repetitive jumps are excellent aerobic exercises that can improve their lung capacity and strengthen their muscles. Let the kids have fun as their stomp and soar, screaming with excitement.
8. Play Hopscotch
Encourage your kid to get out of the house by drawing a hopscotch grid on the sidewalk. Use chalk to mark the boundary lines and number the squares. Get a smooth rock for them to toss. They should follow the hopscotch grid, jumping over the square with the rock. You can also get a hopscotch mat to use in your backyard, with a bean bag as the tossing rock.
9. Jumping Rope
Did you know that 10 minutes of jumping rope is equivalent to running an 8-minute mile? Skipping rope is a fun activity that can help keep your child energetic and healthy. Besides, they land on both legs, reducing the risk of knee injuries. You can also spice it up by including some jump rope rhymes.
Tagging is one of the most entertaining outdoor physical activities for kids. It requires two or more players, where the first, ‘it,’ run after the others. The kid will chase the rest of the participants to mark them out of play by touching them with their hands.
11. Jump on the Trampoline
Jumping on a trampoline will exercise the whole body. The repetitive bounces create a g-force that helps build muscle and burn calories. The American Council on Exercise says that a 20-minute trampoline workout is equivalent to running at 6 mph for the same period. It can also help improve your child’s agility and balance.
12. Fort Building
One of the most popular outdoor physical activities for kids is fort building. From as early as three, children begin building a fort using cushions and blankets. You can also recreate the fun outdoors by getting them a fort building set and extra sheets to keep them occupied for the rest of the afternoon.
You may also let your child enjoy the outdoors by taking them on a fishing trip. Fishing is the second-most popular recreational activity, attracting over 49 million participants every year. You can take your kid for bass fishing and watch the glow in the eyes after their first catch.
Riding a sled downhill is an exciting way to keep your family active during the cold winter days. Look for a not-too-steep hill with a long clear path for a downhill slide. Never let your child go out without adult supervision. You may also need to ensure they have a helmet to protect them against head injuries.
15. Hide and Seek
It is an exciting children’s game where an individual closes their eyes and makes a countdown as the rest look for a place to hide. The seeker will then open their eyes and try to find the other hidden partners. The first one found is the loser, while the last is the winner.
16. Swing a Racket
Another fun way of getting your child to exercise is by taking them to the community’s tennis court. Practicing tennis can help improve their game as well as keep them healthy. You may also suggest other outdoor physical activities for kids such as badminton, racquetball, and pickleball.
You may also encourage your child to get out of the house by creating a mini-basketball court on your driveway. There are various options for portable hoops available online. As your kid practices their free-throws and jump shots, they get to exercise and stay healthy.
18. Take a Walk
One of the simplest ways to help your child exercise is by joining them for a nature walk. Experts say that 30 minutes of brisk walking every day can help burn up to 150 calories. You can let your child join you as you take the dog for a walk as part of their daily exercise.
19. Play Catch
Head out for a picnic at the part with the whole family with your football in the trunk. You can initiate a game of ‘catch’ with your child, making them exercise as they run after the ball. You can also use other projectiles such as Frisbees and boomerangs.
20. Paddleboards and Kayaks
Getting out on a kayak or paddleboard with your kids is an exciting way to get on the water. It can be a fun experience for your kid to paddle on their own. Paddleboard rentals can help them exercise while enjoying the scenery.
Organizing for a hike can help your child develop strong muscles and build on their endurance. Find a family-friendly hiking trail near your home and take your kid for an outdoor expedition. They may also get to appreciate nature and moved to preserve the environment.
22. Wall Climbing
Kids love to climb-from trees in the outdoors to the storage cabinets in the house. You can create a home-made rock climbing wall in your backyard and challenge them to climb to the top. You can keep your children entertained and engaged as they maneuver around the obstacles.
23. Create a Backyard Obstacle Course
Creating an obstacle course is a fun and easy way to get your child to enjoy the outdoors. You can use your creativity to come up with a fun course using wood planks, ladders, portable pools, treasure digs, tires, and slides.
24. Swing a Bat
You can take your child out to the nearest ball field to play a pick-up game. You may also opt to map out bases on your backyard before you begin your game. You can choose to play baseball, softball, or kickball. How about a pitching machine in your yard to train them on the perfect swing.
Outdoor physical activities for kids are essential in keeping them happy and healthy. The exercises provide a range of health benefits, including strong bones, hearts, and muscles. Remember to observe safety precautions as they enjoy their play.