Does your state require PE as a part of your homeschool curriculum? Going outside to play is a fabulous way to meet your state requirements and to teach your kids healthy habits while having fun. You don’t need an organized program or structured activities! You just need to get your kids moving and have a little fun while you’re at it!
If you live in the country or in a neighborhood with playgrounds or common play places or if you have a big yard, go outside with your kids and play! Yes, you can send your kids outside to play if they’re old enough to be outside without you, but it’s a great example if you go outside and get active along with them. And, to be honest, we adults needs to get out and get more exercise too. It’s great for mental health (and good health in general), and it’s a great example for our kids.
While you’re spending time outside, there are lots of easy ways to get some exercise! Here are some examples:
- Ride bikes! Bike riding is so good for balance, core strength, and cardio. Plus, kids love it!
- Set up a relay race. Running a relay race is great exercise, but working to set up a relay race is also a good way to teach teamwork and sportsmanship.
- Build an obstacle course. Have the kids brainstorm obstacles and set up a course in the neighborhood. Take turns running it, and see who can run it the fastest! (If you have younger children who can’t beat their older siblings’ times, have them work to improve their own times instead of competing against each other.)
- Play Hula Hoop Games. Hula Hoops are so versatile! You can play jump rope with them, use them as a bean bag toss, or have hula contests.
- Play in water sprinklers. If it’s warm enough where you live, you can bring out the sprinklers for the kids to run through. This is a good way to get kids to run, jump, and in general be active. It’s also a great way to cool down during the hot spring and summer months.
- Set up a toss-across game. Using sidewalk chalk, draw a tic-tac-toe board. Then use beanbags to toss onto the squares to play. If you don’t have beanbags, take a look at this article with some no-sew alternatives to bean bags.
- Play hopscotch. Draw a hopscotch grid on the sidewalk and take turns playing. If it’s been a long time since you’ve played hopscotch, take a look at this article. It will remind you how to play traditional hopscotch, and it also suggests some fun alternatives if you want to try something different.
- Play Red Light/Green Light. Gather the neighborhood kids together and play red light/green light together. If you’ve never played this game (or if it’s been a long time!), this article shares information about how to play the game. It also shares some fun variations.
- Play tag! This simple, old-fashioned game is perfect for encouraging the kids to run and play. Or play a fun variation like freeze tag.
- Play hide and go seek. Be sure to be very clear about how far your kids can go to hide. Also, you’ll want to make sure the kids know to come out if you call them. If you have younger children, play the game indoors to be sure you don’t lose anybody!
- Walk the dog. This one kills two birds with one stone by allowing your pet(s) and your child(ren) to exercise.
- Go sledding or play in the snow! We won’t have snow this year in the South, but if you are lucky enough to get snow at your house, call your school day over early (or start late) and send the kids outside to play! They won’t even know they are exercising.
- Play ball! There are all kinds of ball games kids can play! If you have very young children, play t-ball. If your children are older, give them a bat and baseball (or softball) and set up some bases for them to run. Or play dodge ball or some other kind of ball game.
This short list is just a few of the options to get your kids outside and playing. It really doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you get outdoors. And, if possible, get outdoors and get active with your kids instead of sending them outside without you! Have fun!