Family

Play all day

Author: Canadian Living

Family

Play all day

1. Gigantic Jumps
From a beginning line, choose a "destination" that is at least 15 metres away (e.g. a tree, a sign, etc.). Starting at the beginning line and using two-foot jumps, try to cover the distance to the "destination" in the fewest possible consecutive jumps. Repeat the activity, attempting to reduce the number of jumps.

2. Bouncerama
In groups of two or more, work together to keep a ball bouncing continuously. One person strikes the ball and any other person strikes it after one bounce. Work together to get as many hits in a row as you can. Challenge players to change the game to increase the challenge. They may try bouncing on the move, including bounces off the wall, standing a greater distance apart or using a smaller ball.

3. Giant Hacky Sack
In a small group of three or more try to keep a soft, lightweight ball (or balloon) in the air using your hands and feet. Challenge players to keep the ball in the air with as many hits as possible. As an incentive, keep track of points:
• 1 point for each successful contact with a hand
• 2 points for each successful with a foot
• 3 points for each successful contact with any other body part (e.g. head, knee)

Don't have a ball? Make a trashball. Crumple up about three sheets of newspaper. Put the "ball" in a small plastic bag (vegetable bag from grocery store) and wrap masking tape around the bag. Replace it when it becomes too compressed.

4. Happy Hearts
Using a combination of marching, walking and running, move continuously to music for five minutes. Encourage your kids to keep moving/lifting their feet off the floor for the whole five minutes.

Family members can take turns calling out suggestions of ways of moving to keep everyone interested and engaged; e.g., move like a leaf, a soldier, a soccer player, a skater, an airplane. Use suggestions from kids. When finished, ask kids to place their hand on their chest to feel their heart beating faster. Try doing this activity as an "activity break" between commercials or television shows while watching TV.

Page 1 of 6 -- Learn how to play "Catch This" and Ultimate Frisbee on page 2

5. Knock Down
Choose 4 targets to use as pins (e.g. plastic bowling pins, disposable paper or plastic glasses, pylons, water bottles, etc.). One person stands approx. 10 metres away from the other players and sets up the 4 pins in any pattern. The person with the pins tells the other players which pin to hit. The thrower with the ball rolls it to hit the target. Count the number of balls rolled to hit all the 4 targets. When all 4 targets have been hit, select a new person to set up the pins.

6. Touch Knees
Work in pairs. Players face each other. On "Go" signal, each player attempts to touch the other player's knees with their hands, while simultaneously protecting their own knees. Points may be awarded for each knee touch or first one to touch the other's knee wins the game. If playing with more than two people, change partners frequently.

7. Catch This
Work in pairs. Players face each other. One player has a ball or other object (e.g. balloon, tomato, roll of toilet paper, wet sponge if playing outdoors). The player with the ball tosses to his/her partner. Partner takes one step back and passes the ball back. This player takes one step back and passes the ball back to partner. Count steps as you go.

Process continues until someone drops the ball. When ball is dropped, the 2 players return to the starting position and see if they can improve on their previous best. If playing with more than two people, change partners after each round.

8. Ultimate Frisbee Skills
Throw a frisbee back and forth. Challenge yourselves to throw accurately and catch with two hands. See how many consecutive catches can be made. Practice throwing for distance.

Play "keep away" in groups of 2 on 2 or 3 on 3, one team tries passes the frisbee to other members of their team while the other team tries to intercept the throw. Every time the frisbee is dropped the intercepting team gets possession.

Page 2 of 6 -- Find a fun family fitness activity to try with the kids on page 3

9. Do This, Do That
This is a good activity to do at the bus stop, or while waiting in line. Lead your family through a series of fitness activities (e.g. marching on the spot, alternate arm raises, etc.). Depending on the ages of your children, you can take turns leading. The leaders call out, "Do this," as they lead activities. If the leader says, "Do that," the group should not move. If anyone follows, they must move and join the other group. Change leaders frequently.

10. Fitness Eggs
Place paper strips with various physical activities on them in plastic eggs. For example: walk/run one lap of playing area, touch 3 things that are blue, balance on one foot for 5 seconds, crab walk 10 steps, etc.

"Hide" the eggs in various areas inside and outside (as applicable). The task for the kids is to find the eggs. When an egg is found, the child opens the egg, performs the activity, brings the eggs to their designated "egg pile" (or basket) and then continues to find more eggs. When all the eggs have been retrieved, you may choose to have them redeem their plastic eggs for a prize.

Variation:
Give each child/player 4-5 eggs to take within designated boundaries and "hide". When all the eggs are hidden, children come together at one starting point. On the "go" signal, children try to collect the eggs as quickly as possible (without finding their own eggs).

Each player can only retrieve one egg at a time. They bring each egg they retrieve back to the basket at the starting point. When the finished, send all players out to check their original hiding places to see if all eggs have been collected. This activity can be repeated and the group can try to beat their record – collecting all eggs as quickly as possible.

Page 3 of 6 -- Find fun games with balloons and beach balls on page 4

11. Haunted House
Kids love to walk through a haunted house during the Halloween season. Add to the fun by setting up a haunted house that includes physical activity.

The Monster Mash: Attach 3 cut-outs of Halloween monsters (e.g. witches, skeletons, ghosts) to a wall. Children attempt to kick a ball and hit (or mash) the monsters on the wall. Children should be encouraged to try to hit all three targets.

"Boo"sketball: Cover basketballs with a white napkin and secure around the ball with string. Children attempt to throw the "ghost" ball into mini-basketball hoops.

Jack-o-Dunkin: Place a plastic jack-o-lantern (or any container) at one end of a table. Children stand on the opposite end of the table and try to roll the ball across the table and into the container. Ensure that the container is lower than the table and that it is big enough to hold the ball you are using for the activity.

12. Balloon Activities
Inflate a balloon or beach ball and let children engage in some free play. You may also encourage the following activities:

• Keep a balloon or beach ball up by using their feet and hands and other parts of their bodies. Try it alone or with a partner.
• Hit the balloons at different levels and in different directions.
• Toss the balloon and do various tasks before hitting it again, such as tossing and clapping hands, tossing and touching the floor.
• Play catch with a partner.

Balance a balloon between two people without using their hands. Try to move across the room /yard without dropping it.

Family activity facts

D
id you know?
Community based sport and recreation activities are much more frequently accessed by families with higher education and income.

What you can do:
Find out what recreation and sport opportunities are offered in your community. Talk to your local and provincial politicians about ensuring affordable opportunities are effectively promoted in all communities and that safe spaces for free play and social interaction are made available for children and youth so they are not violating local bylaws when they organize their own physical activities.

Did you know?
Studies indicate that students who participate in daily physical activity as part of their education performed better academically and reported higher test scores.

What you can do:
Speak to the principal about the daily physical activity opportunities offered in your school. Join your School Council or your Home and School Association to encourage and support the implementation of daily physical activity at your school.

Page 4 of 6 -- Discover more about Health Canada's youth fitness programs on page 5

Did you know?
Over one-third of Canadian children aged 2 to 11 were overweight in 1998/99, and of these, about half could be considered obese, according to a snapshot of childhood obesity from the National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth.
What you can do:

What you can do:
Talk to your school principal and the local community centre about the food choices in the cafeteria, snack bar or vending machines. Balance TV, video game and computer time for your child with active pursuits with family or friends. Talk to your school about the opportunities for physical activity your child has each day.


Did you know?
Health Canada has produced a Physical Activity Guide for Children and Youth that includes parents and teacher booklets that can support you in getting your kids active!

What you can do:
Access a copy of the guide on the Health Canada web site. Ask your teacher or principal if they use the guide in your child's school. Ask you family physician if they provide it to other parents.


Did you know?
Children report the main reasons for participating in sport as having FUN, meeting or being with friends, and learning new skills.

What you can do:
Talk to the instructor, coach or teacher about how the program is managed to ensure a balance between instruction, unstructured play time and competition. Invite your child's friends to an active outing in the park, local community centre or even in your own home.


Did you know?
Across Canada, there are policies and programs in place that support physical activity promotion through the education, recreation, health and social service sectors. Many of these sectors are trying to do the same thing in isolation, and all feel challenged by limited resources.

What you can do:
Turn your school community into an active, healthy school community. Ask your local politician to call a meeting that brings together the various sectors to see how they can support one another by working together and sharing resources – money, facilities and people.

Talk to your principal or school council and ask if they link regularly with community supports in public health, community health, recreation and social services to access programs and supports available in promoting physical activity. Champion a physical activity event or program that brings the school and community together.

Page 5 of 6 -- Discover how regular physical activity reduces stress and depression in youth on page 6

Did you know?
Health Canada and Sport Canada, in partnership with all of the provinces and territories in Canada have developed a National Sport Strategy, a Sport and Physical Activity Act, and a Healthy Living Strategy.

What you can do:
Ask your local and provincial politicians how these strategies are being implemented to increase physical activity opportunities for children and youth in your community.


Did you know?
Children of active parents are more likely to participate in physical activity themselves and to continue involvement in an active lifestyle as they grow,

What you can do:
Find active things that you enjoy to be a role model for your kids. Build physical activity into family gatherings, outings and parties. Be active with your kids – they don't care if you do things well, they enjoy the focused time, attention and energy.


Did you know?
Across Canada, there are policies and programs in place that support physical activity promotion through the education, recreation, health and social service sectors. Many of these sectors are trying to do the same thing in isolation, and all feel challenged by limited resources.

What you can do:
Turn your school community into an active, healthy school community. Ask your local politician to call a meeting that brings together the various sectors to see how they can support one another by working together and sharing resources – money, facilities and people.

Talk to your principal or school council and ask if they link regularly with community supports in public health, community health, recreation and social services to access programs and supports available in promoting physical activity. Champion a physical activity event or program that brings the school and community together.


Did you know?
Regular, enjoyable physical activity pursuits have been shown to positively support mental health through reduction of stress and depression among children and youth.

What you can do:
Find out what physical activities your child likes to do and who they like to do it with – support your child in accessing and organizing fun activities alone or with family and friends. Talk to your school guidance counsellor or family physician and ask if physical activity options are presented in support of youth who are looking to manage stress or deal with the blues.

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