It’s been a long couple of months. We’ve been stuck at home and our usual ways of exercising are off the table – no gyms, no organized sports or exercise classes, no playgrounds. Sure, many of us have made a point of figuring out other ways to exercise – but how many times can you walk or bike through the same neighbourhood before you tear your hair out from boredom? If you’re like us, you reached that point long ago – so we’ve scoured the internet and found lots of great ideas to change up your outdoor activities to keep you interested and keep burning calories! Check out these super fun activities you can do in your yard or neighbourhood – with lots to keep the kids entertained, too:
Plan an at-home scavenger hunt
Plan a weekend scavenger hunt for all the kids in the house. Go out the night before to hide small, cheap objects in and around the participating yard and house. Make the hunt as easy or as challenging as you want, depending on kids’ ages. Then on the big day, dole out lists of every item the children need to find and set them loose. Adults can play too!
Take a “Photo Walk”
A photo walk encourages you to get outside and looking at things from a different angle while taking pictures based on a theme. Head out with your camera and a theme (maybe choose one from the list below) and start snapping. Surprising things can be discovered this way, because you’re on the hunt for something specific and you need to work that little bit harder to find it.
Use circular stencils and spray paint to turn your lawn into a game board.
Water Balloon Dodge Ball
This one is pretty self-explanatory: dodgeball… but with water balloons. (Just don’t aim for people’s faces.) The kids will love this on a nice hot day, and do not underestimate the sweat you can work up with all that ducking and dodging!
Red Light Green Light
A good old-fashioned favourite that kids and adults can play together! First, you must decide on who will be the “crossing guard” and who will be the “vehicles”. The crossing guard gives commands and the vehicles will follow the commands. Designate a start and finish line about 50 feet apart (or as much space as you have in your yard or park area.) The crossing guard will stand at the finish line, and the vehicles will begin at the starting line. The crossing guard will either shout “green light”, which will allow the vehicles to move toward the finish line, or “red light”, which will force the vehicles to stop.
The first vehicle to reach the finish line wins. If any vehicle takes a step forward on a “red light” command, then that person must return to the starting line and restart. Be creative – the vehicles can move by not just running or walking but also by doing broad jumps, lunges, bear crawls, frog jumps, crab walks etc. for an extra tough workout!
Balloney Tunes Game
You will need at least 3 people to play this game, so it’s a great one for larger households or those with older kids!
Each person is designated a number from 1 to however many participants. One person will be standing with the balloon in hand in the middle of a square boundary (you can use chalk or washable paint on your grass to draw this boundary) while the other participants will be outside of the boundary. The participants outside of the boundary can be in a plank position, holding a squat position or standing in a normal stance. The idea is to wait for the participant holding the balloon to hit the balloon into the air and yell out the number of one of the other participants outside of the boundaries. Once another participant’s number is called, they are to run into the boundary and hit the balloon into the air before the balloon contacts the floor.
When the participant hits the balloon in the air, they must yell out the number of another participant (can be the number of the participant who called your number previously, it does not matter) and run back into the position they were in outside of the boundary. If the person outside of the boundary whose number is called does not stop the balloon from hitting the floor, then that person gets a point. That person will then be the next person to call out a number and continue the game. The participant with the LEAST number of points after three minutes of playing is the winner.