There is a major focus in today’s world on the childhood obesity rate. Children tend to spend more time playing video games and chatting with friends over the internet instead of engaging in physical activities that can help provide them with healthy lifestyles. Children and teens tend to model their behavior after their parents and require extensive amounts of quality time with their parents. However, when money is tight within the home and financial situations are anything but comfortable, parents tend to allow their children to play their video games and utilize the computers as a way of preventing them from feeling the financial burdens within the home. This is not doing the children or the parents any good. Here are some ideas for activities that cost little to no money to participate in and provide the quality time that is lacking in many homes throughout the country.
1. Start your own backyard garden. Children will enjoy watching the success of their hard work. Vegetables and fruits that are grown can be sold to fund vacations and other rewarding events that you can share with the children.
2. If you have bicycles, enjoy a leisurely ride together. Make a game out of finding unique sites that you can share together.
3. Conduct your own outdoor Pilates class together.
4. Teach older child how to relax by showing them how to do yoga. This can help clear their mind whether they are performing the yoga with you or alone in their own room.
5. Start a game of Frisbee in the backyard. You will be surprised at the amount of other neighborhood children and parents that may want to join in the fun that you are having.
6. Take a visit to the beach during hot days and enjoy activities such as swimming, collecting seashells or playing a game of volleyball if these options are available.
7. Build an outdoor tent using blankets. Mexican blankets tend to work the best, as they tend to keep out the sun’s rays and high levels of heat, providing a cool area to rest and relax.
8. Have a water balloon war. However, make sure that children are old enough to understand the safety rules of this activity and make sure that used balloon pieces are discarded properly as they pose a danger to smaller children and household pets that may swallow the pieces of the broken balloons.
9. Enjoy and outdoor picnic at the park with lots of fruits and vegetable choices for snacking. Using a Mexican blanket that is bright and colorful will allow even the smallest child to distinguish your area from other picnickers that may be at the park.
10. Visit local hardware stores or crafting retail shops and inquire about free craft and how-to clinics that they may have for children. Home Depot is one retailer shop that offers these programs. Michaels is a crafting store that often has crafting classes and workshops for children and parents to participate in throughout the year.
11. Help out at a local food bank. This will teach children about the importance of giving back to the community and that their work is quite beneficial for helping others.
12. Make bubble solution using dish soap and water. You can allow your child to select objects to see what kind of bubbles they can blow using their new tools.
13. Start a recycling center within the home and teach your children about the importance of utilizing these systems to protect the environment. Make sure that the recycling center that you start in your home is easy for the child to follow. Cut out magazine pictures and allow your child to decorate the outside of the bins to distinguish which bin is designated for what type of items. This is easy enough for even very small children that cannot yet read to incorporate into their daily routines.
14. Adopt an elderly neighbor that you and your child can visit and assist with daily tasks when necessary.
15. Make birdhouses using materials that you find around the yard. This can include twigs, leaves, acorns or other items that your child may find interesting.
16. Host a picnic luncheon for neighborhood children using small finger foods that you may already have around your home.
17. Make a game of Simon Says by utilizing exercise and stretching moves that are easy for your child to perform and follow.
18. During fall months, make a scarecrow for the yard using old clothing and fallen leaves that may just be lying around your yard.Allow your child freedom when creating your new yard decorations.
19. During spring or fall months, make a kite together. Allow your child to utilize different materials to see if they will help the kite fly better. Provide assistance if they begin to get frustrated with their experiments.
20. Plant a flower garden in the spring and help your child nurture their plants. When the flowers begin to bloom, make floral arrangements together to give to neighbors or residents at a nursing home in your area.
21. Make wind chimes using a play dough recipe. Allow your child to decorate the wind chime in its own designs. If you want to make extra these make ideal gift ideas from your child to a grandparent, church member, teacher, aunt or neighbor.
22. Host a neighborhood potluck dinner. Allow your child to help prepare dishes to serve using health food choices and encourage neighbors to bring nutritious dinner items that you can enjoy together.
23. Have a relay race using different exercises as stations of the race. To make this interesting, get neighborhood children involved in the game.
24. Teach your child how to play jump rope or double-dutch. These are still games that children of all ages can enjoy today.
25. Go for a nature walk at a local park. Make a scrapbook of memories based on what you saw, did and discovered that was new. Make sure that you add things that you enjoyed to the scrapbook, as well.