We all want to encourage healthy habits at home, but this can be hard to manage when everyone (including you!) wants to spend the weekend resting, casting aside the dramas of the week with a good TV show or tasty dinner out. We urge our readers to fight the inner couch potato and get outside for some family bonding activities—that re-run can wait, and Netflix isn’t going anywhere. Here are a few ideas to help bring your family together on weekends and encourage the kids to stay active, while still allowing them a chance to set aside school week burdens.
Sometimes a little innocent competition can be a great way to bring a family together; create your own Olympics, using games and sports that your family enjoys. This will allow your family to have fun while getting some heart-healthy exercise. For inspiration, consider these backyard competitions:
- Track and Field Events- Use this as a chance to bond with the kids over field games you played as a kid: freeze tag? Potato sack racing? Why not? If it involves moving around outside, you might as well give it a try.
- Adapt Inside Games for the Backyard- Yard twister anyone? Using yard spray, paint circles on your grass in the same pattern as your regular Twister game. Click here for an example.
- Bocce Ball– It’s not just for old men! This colorful backyard game (similar to bowling, but outdoors) can engage people of all ages—kids just have to be big enough to throw the ball.
During summer and fall, you and your family can spend the day at outdoor shopping areas. In cooler months, or for a break from the summertime rays, try a museum of local interest. Remember to bring some healthy snacks along to keep from snacking on the fried or super sweet foods typically served in these venues.
- Local Museums- Dallas readers, check out the Dallas Museum of Art For those based in Miami, visit Villa Vizcaya to learn about the amazing history of the city. Cultural institutions can be found in every city in the U.S., and visiting one with your family can make for a low cost memorable outing.
- Festivals- Take a day to go to a local festival where you can browse through crafts and listen to music.
- Yard Sales- Walking through your town to find yard sales is a great way to get some exercise. You could create a game out of it by finding items that you could all re-purpose for use in your home.
Anything you can do to unwind in the outdoors, and to promote family bonding activities, is going to be a win for your spirit. Next weekend, instead of lounging in sweats, try spending the afternoon playing a backyard sport or getting some local flavor. Tweet us @ with pics from your latest family adventure!