What you need:
- sturdy walking/athletic shoes
- garden hose
- old socks
- bucket of soapy water
What to do:
- If you have safe place to walk — a park trail, sidewalk, cul-de-sac, or similar location — challenge your children to a short race: from one mailbox to another, one driveway to another. The quick starts and short races build cardiovascular strength and fitness, but your kids don't have to know it!
- Need a car wash? Give your kids an old pair of socks to wear on their hands and a pail of soapy water. Encourage them to reach as high as they can and as low as they can while they help wash. (The reaching and bending help increase flexibility and contribute to cardiovascular health.) When the car is clean, use the hose to spray and chase your kids. Make wavy bands of water for children to jump over. Form a water arch for children to run and duck under, over, or even try to limbo under. Give them a turn with the hose too! Encourage them to find ways to jump over the water stream while they're holding the hose. Suggest that they spray a stream into the air and then see how far they can run before the last drop falls.
- Try some of the games you used to play, such as "Mother May I," "Red Light/Green Light," and "Spin the Statue" — and play along. This is a great way to tell your child something about you, create a special bond, and let them know you can have fun too. If you can't remember any games, ask your parents.