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Making Activity Fun: Ask the Experts from Brenner FIT

Written by Casey Foster, BS, ACSM-CPT, Play Facilitator Certified through US Play Coalition

Q: I want my family to be more active together. Sometimes we walk together, but I feel like I force everyone to come along. No one really wants to walk, and our time together turns into kids telling me to stop being a drill sergeant. I want to find some activity the whole family can enjoy.  Do you have any ideas for fun family activities? Signed: Drill Sergeant Dad

A: Drill Sergeant Dad, you are on the right track! Thinking about how to make activity fun for everyone is the first step in getting your family moving. So, what are the best activities? My answer? “Whatever you find fun!” Activity does not have to be going to the gym or participating in a sport. Playing kickball in the backyard or hide-and-seek can get everyone in your family moving. You and your kids look forward to playing when you find enjoyable ways to move. And, you and your family are more likely to be consistent with activities if all of you enjoy them 

If you are looking for a fun way to play, hula hooping may be right for your family. Grab some hula hoops and see who can hoop for the longest. Or, try hooping with more than one hula hoop at a time.  Some families come up with their own hula hoop games and rules. But, if following the rules creates more arguments than fun, focus more on playing and less on the rules. If your family works well with rules, try these hula hoop games:

  • Musical Hula Hoops. Play just like musical chairs. If you have four players, set out three hula hoops. Play some of your family’s favorite music. When the music stops, hop in a hula hoop. If you did not make it into a hoop, you are out. 
  • Hula Hoop Scotch. Design your own hopscotch by placing hula hoops together in any pattern. Use the hoops to play the traditional game of hopscotch. 
  • Pass the Hoop. Stand in a circle holding hands. Pass the hoop around as fast as you can without breaking the circle.

Good luck and keep your family moving! 
Signed: Casey

This article was written by staff who are apart of Brenner FIT (Families in Training). Brenner FIT is a pediatric weight management program at Brenner Children’s Hospital that helps families create healthier lifestyles together. Brenner FIT offers free cooking, nutrition and parenting classes. Visit BrennerChildrens.org/BrennerFit for our current class listing.