1. Go the Muddy Distance
When April showers pour down, dress your child (and yourself!) in old clothes, and let her run, jump, and climb as she dashes along a wet trail, just the way cross-country athletes do in competition.
2. Boxstacle Course
Place cardboard boxes around your yard. Number each box, and put a note inside each with instructions for a different activity. Contestants might have to leap over a box, for instance, run in place, roar like a lion, or sprint to the next station. See who can finish the whole course first!
3. Chipmunks and Squirrels
Divide kids into two teams and have them stand on opposite sides of a yard. Toss dozens of small balls (“acorns”) onto the grass. On the count of three, everyone runs out and starts gathering acorns for his team. Rules: Only one acorn may be carried at a time, and stealing from the other team’s batch is okay if you take the time to run the distance to the other side. The winning team is the one that collects the most loot!
Source: Carol Goodrow, author of Kids Running: Have Fun, Get Faster & Go Farther
Stephanie Cajigal is a health, fitness, and beauty writer who lives in New York City.