Kid’s wellness is such an exciting topic for me and many of the women I work with are moms! Health and wellness activities for kids are so important because what you teach kids about activity and nutrition when they’re young will be what they take with them into adulthood. If you teach kids the importance of being active and nourishing their bodies, they’ll grow up seeing the value in that. If you don’t, they may grow up having both health and weight issues. This is happening at much younger ages and at much higher rates these days in America, and while there are many factors that contribute to this growing issue, the general trajectory of moving toward more sedentary lifestyles and eating more and more processed foods is a huge factor.
It’s crucial to encourage children to practice healthy habits from an early age. With that in mind, here are some fun health and wellness activities for kids that can help foster a sense of physical and mental wellbeing. From simple exercises to creative crafts, these activities are sure to engage and entertain kids while teaching them the importance of taking care of their bodies and minds.
Health and Wellness Activities for Kids
Backyard Physical Activities
Outdoor activities are a great way to get kids moving, exploring, and enjoying the fresh air. From playing tag in the backyard to going on a family hike, there are so many fun options to choose from. Encouraging outdoor play not only helps children develop physical strength and coordination but also boosts their mental and emotional wellbeing.
One really fun activity to try is setting up an obstacle course in the backyard using hula hoops, cones, and jump ropes. This will not only keep kids active but also help them practice their balance and agility skills.
Another fun option is organizing a scavenger hunt in your backyard, or a nearby park or nature reserve. This nature walk will get kids excited about exploring their surroundings while also learning about the environment.
Backyard Games & Activities
- Freeze tag
- Capture the flag
- Water gun tag
- Jumping on a trampoline
- Riding bikes
- Potato sack races
- Relay races
Remember, the key is to make outdoor activities enjoyable and engaging for kids. Whether it’s playing a game of soccer, flying a kite, or simply going for a bike ride, spending time outdoors will not only improve children’s physical health but also foster a sense of curiosity and appreciation for nature.
Indoor Physical Activities
Indoor games are a fantastic way to keep kids active and entertained, especially on those rainy or chilly days. There are plenty of fun and engaging games that can be played indoors, providing an opportunity for kids to burn off energy and enjoy quality time with family and friends.
Active Indoor Games
- Simon Says
- Hide and seek
- Pillow case race
- Hula hoops
- Wheelbarrow walking
Indoor Obstacle Course
Another great option is setting up a mini sports tournament in the living room. You can create a small obstacle course using pillows, chairs, and other household items. Kids can take turns completing the course and competing against each other. Not only will this get their heart rate up, but it will also help improve their coordination and motor skills.
Indoor games provide an opportunity for kids to stay active, be creative, and have fun, all while staying indoors. So, the next time the weather isn’t cooperating, consider trying out one of these indoor game ideas!
Dance parties are a guaranteed way to get kids moving and grooving while having a blast! Crank up the music and let loose with your little ones in the living room or backyard. Dancing not only boosts physical fitness but also improves coordination, balance, and rhythm. Plus, it’s a fantastic way for kids to express themselves and let their energy out. Create a playlist of their favorite songs or try out different genres to keep things exciting. Encourage them to get creative with their dance moves and even teach them some popular dance routines. You can also make it a themed dance party by dressing up in costumes or incorporating props like glow sticks or scarves.
Yoga for Kids
Yoga is not just for adults – it’s a fantastic activity for kids too! Yoga for kids is a fun and interactive way to introduce them to mindfulness and physical activity. It helps improve flexibility, balance, and strength, while also teaching them how to calm their minds and focus. There are many yoga poses that are great for kids, such as the “tree pose” and the “cat-cow pose.” These poses not only promote physical fitness but also encourage imagination and creativity. You can make yoga sessions more engaging by incorporating storytelling or playing calming music in the background. Consider introducing yoga into your child’s routine as a fun and beneficial activity that promotes both physical and mental well-being.
Cooking and Healthy Eating
Cooking and healthy eating are important skills to instill in children from a young age. Not only does it promote physical wellbeing, but it also encourages creativity and teaches kids about nutrition. Cooking with children can be a fun and educational activity that allows them to take ownership of their food choices and learn about different ingredients and cooking methods.
Start by involving them in simple tasks like washing fruits and vegetables or mixing ingredients together. As they get more comfortable, you can progress to teaching them basic cooking techniques like chopping or sautéing. It’s also a great opportunity to introduce them to new foods and flavors, helping to expand their little palates and make healthy eating more exciting. Cooking together as a family not only creates special memories but also sets a positive example and reinforces the importance of nourishing our bodies with wholesome, nutritious meals.
Family workouts are a fantastic way to promote physical activity and spend quality time together. Whether it’s a simple living room workout or a fun outdoor activity, getting the whole family involved can make exercise enjoyable for everyone. Try doing a series of simple exercises like jumping jacks, squats, and lunges, or challenge each other to a friendly game of basketball or soccer in the backyard. You can also explore family-friendly workout videos online that incorporate dance moves or yoga poses.
The key is to make it fun and engaging for everyone, so don’t be afraid to get creative and switch things up. Not only will family workouts help improve physical fitness, but they will also create lasting memories and strengthen family bonds. This could be as simple as a walk, so don’t worry about this being perfect. Just find fun ways to move together!
Hiking and Nature Walks
Hiking and nature walks are not only great exercise but also an opportunity for kids to connect with the natural world around them. Exploring nature trails and observing plants, animals, and landscapes can foster a sense of wonder and appreciation for the world around us. Hiking and nature walks give you all a break from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, allowing kids and adults both to immerse themselves in the beauty and tranquility of nature.
Whether it’s a short stroll through a local park or a longer hike in the mountains, there are hiking trails suitable for all ages and skill levels. Use the AllTrails app to find a trail near you and learn all about it before you go. Pack a picnic, bring a camera, and make a day of it! Encourage kids to engage with their surroundings by pointing out interesting plants or wildlife, collecting leaves or rocks, or even documenting their journey in a nature journal.
Mindfulness and Meditation
Mindfulness and meditation are powerful practices that can benefit children in numerous ways. Introducing kids to these techniques at an early age can help them develop skills for managing stress, increasing self-awareness, and promoting overall mental well-being.
Mindfulness exercises can be as simple as focusing on the breath or observing thoughts and sensations without judgment. Meditation, on the other hand, involves finding a quiet space and encouraging children to sit quietly and bring their attention to the present moment. For your family, meditation may mean prayer or it may be sitting in silence. Whatever it means for you, mindfulness is a strong foundation and an effective way to nurture good emotional health for little kids.
To make mindfulness and meditation more accessible and engaging for young people, you can use guided meditation apps or videos designed specifically for children. Encouraging children to practice mindfulness and meditation for just a few minutes each day can help them build resilience, enhance their ability to focus and concentrate, and cultivate a sense of inner calm.
Swimming and Water Sports
Swimming and water sports are not only a great way to cool off during the summer months, but they also provide an excellent opportunity for kids to get exercise without even realizing it! Whether it’s swimming in a pool, playing water basketball, or trying out water aerobics, there are so many ways to get in the water and get moving.
Swimming is a low-impact exercise that works all major muscle groups, improves cardiovascular health, and enhances coordination and flexibility. It’s also a valuable life skill that can help kids feel confident and safe in the water. Encourage your children to swim regularly, whether it’s at the local pool or beach.
Water sports like paddleboarding, kayaking, and snorkeling are also fun and exciting ways for kids to stay active while enjoying the great outdoors. These activities provide a full-body workout, improve balance and coordination, and allow children to explore and appreciate the beauty of nature.
There are a lot of different things you can start doing with young kids to keep them engaged in regular exercise as they grow into older children and water sports and swimming are some of the best ways, in my opinion. This active play can bring hours of enjoyment from movement!
Martial Arts and Self-Defense
Martial arts and self-defense are not only great for physical fitness but also provide kids with valuable life skills and a sense of empowerment. Enrolling your child in a martial arts class can help them develop discipline, self-control, and confidence, all while learning effective self-defense techniques. Martial arts like karate, taekwondo, or judo teach kids how to defend themselves while also emphasizing respect, perseverance, and teamwork.
These classes provide a structured environment where children can learn and grow, both physically and mentally. They will learn the importance of goal setting, overcoming challenges, and practicing self-discipline. Plus, martial arts can help improve focus and concentration, as children must pay close attention to their instructors and execute precise movements.
Whether it’s breaking boards, learning new forms, or participating in friendly sparring matches, martial arts classes offer a unique blend of physical activity, mental stimulation, and character development. So consider enrolling your child in a martial arts program and watch as they gain confidence, build strength, and develop important life skills that will benefit them for years to come.
Team sports are not only great wellness activities, but they’re also character building. Learning to work as a team is imperative for kids and this skill will play an important role in how kids progress in their lives. Soccer, basketball, volleyball, football, or any sport that requires kids to get moving and encourages mental and emotional growth while having tons of fun is a win!
Tips for Getting Kids Excited About Health and Wellness
One of the key aspects of encouraging kids to embrace a healthy lifestyle is getting them excited about health and wellness activities. Here are some tips to help make health and wellness a fun and enjoyable experience for kids.
1. Make it a game
Turn health and wellness activities into a game or challenge. For example, set up a chart where young children can earn stickers or rewards for completing certain tasks like eating fruits and vegetables or doing a certain number of physical activities each week. This will make it more engaging and motivate them to participate.
2. Get creative
Incorporate creativity into health and wellness activities. Encourage kids of all ages to come up with their own healthy recipes, create their own workout routines, plan fun activities, or design their own yoga poses. Giving them the freedom to be creative will make them feel more invested in their health and wellness journey.
3. Lead by example
Children are more likely to adopt healthy behavior if they see their parents and caregivers practicing healthy habits too. Make sure to be a role model by engaging in healthy activities yourself. Take walks together as a family, cook healthy meals together, and participate in physical activities as a team.
4. Make it social
Engage with other families or friends who are also interested in health and wellness activities. Plan playdates that involve physical activities, organize cooking competitions, or have dance parties together. The social aspect will make it more enjoyable and create a supportive environment. If you can’t make it social, just try to involve the whole family for more fun!
5. Offer choices
Give children options when it comes to health and wellness activities. Allow them to choose which activities they want to participate in, whether it’s going for a bike ride, trying a new sport, or joining a yoga class. Giving them the freedom to choose will make them more invested and enthusiastic about their health and wellness journey. As adults, we wouldn’t be that excited about a wellness program or daily routine if we didn’t get to choose it. Their energy levels will be much higher and their emotional well-being will thrive if they have a say in their active lifestyle. Obviously, the effectiveness of this may vary depending on the age group and you may need to direct younger kids a little more.
By implementing these tips, you can help your children develop a positive and enthusiastic attitude towards health and wellness. Remember to keep it fun, engaging, and adaptable to their interests and abilities.