Relay Races for Fun, Family Fitness

Melanie Douglass, R.D., NASM shares six easy games for fun family fitness.

Physical activity doesn’t have to be structured, painful, or complicated. When it comes down to it, every extra step we take makes a difference in our health. Our kids are growing up in an environment bursting with excess food and too few reasons to move our muscles. They need regular physical activity right now!

Here are six games that you can mix-and-match to help the entire family get moving. Even spending 10 minutes per night playing a few games with the kids will help your children… in more ways than one.

Obstacle Course

1. Create any course you want! Use a garden hose, wagons, bikes, balls, trampolines, swing sets… anything sitting around in your yard.

2. Let your kids help design the course. (My kids favorite course is to jump over a wagon and run around a few trees. Done!)

3. Incorporate at least 3 different movements: run, walk, crawl, hop, run backwards, plank-walk, drop for 10 pushups… go for it!

4. Either allow two kids to race against each other, or use a stopwatch (or phone) to time each participant.

Candy Drop

1. Grab two big spoons and 5 – 6 pieces of wrapped candy (or pennies).

2. Kids race against each other holding the spoonful of candy. If they drop a piece of candy from the spoon, they have to stop, pick it up, and then continue the race.

3. First kid to cross the finish line with all candy/money in the spoon wins.

Sit-up and Toss

1. Use a hula hoop or garden hose to make a circle for a target.

2. Kids still on the ground 4 – 6 feet away from the target, holding a ball overhead.

3. With bent knees and feet flat on the ground, have kids roll back, come up to a sit up, then toss the ball into the target.

4. Kids get points for hitting the target.

Band-aid Tag

1. Parents should be “it”. Chase kids around and “tag” them on the shoulder, knee, ankle, hand, ears, hair, neck, etc.

2. Wherever the “it” person touches, becomes injured and the kids have to run around with injuries and try to escape.

3. Once a player has 3 injuries, they become it.

Freeze Dance

1. Play music and encourage kids to dance… any style they want!

2. Be sneaky about it, and randomly stop the music.

3. When the music stops, kids have to freeze. The last person to strike a pose or freeze is out.

Crazy Jumps

1. Use a garden hose to form a jump line.

2. Kids run to the line and then try to jump the farthest (like the long jump track event).

3. Kids can do any create form of a jump they want- strike a pose, do a cartwheel, run backwards.

If you’d like to ask Melanie a question, visit our Ask the Expert page:

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