Sitting less and moving more is important for everybody’s health. Being a positive role model by participating in activities with children and having your own active lifestyles can have a great effect on children’s attitudes to physical activity.
Even basic (non-sport focused) activities as a family can help instil active lifestyle habits as well as developing motor skills in children from an early age. Here you’ll find family activities you could try around the home to get the whole family moving more!
Family Outdoor Activities
Get back to basics in the backyard!
Encourage the family to have a break from technology and get into some old-fashioned backyard family time.
- Teach the family games played when you were growing up. Learn some new ones from your kids.
- Play ball games, cricket, soccer, basketball, skipping, trampoline, Frisbee
- Build a sandpit, do some gardening or even create a vegie patch.
- Throw a ball or stick with the family dog
- Handball,4-square or hopscotch in the driveway
Move those muscles! Get those jobs out of the way
- Kids love water! Get the family active washing the car, and save money at the same time.
- Get some watering cans and water those plants.
- Household chores can be a bore. Reward jobs well done with a fun family activity, such as a trip to the beach. See our ‘Out and About’ section for low-cost or free family activities.
Family indoor activities
Don’t let the weather stop your fun family activities. Try some indoor activities you can do together:
- Twister is a great example and will get the whole family laughing
- Be creative; build a kite to fly at the park or create an active life sized board game
- Hide and seek and treasure hunts
- Have some soft toys for indoor ball games, mini trampolines
- Use pillow cases for sack races
- Follow the leader and Simon Says – keep it active!
- Indoor picnic
- Get some sheets and create a cubby house
- Musical chairs/statues
Children should participate in at least 60mins of moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity every day. Parents often worry that their children are too active and will become exhausted. It is far more likely that even energetic children aren't getting enough activity, rather than doing too much.
Organised sport is a great way for kids to get active; however, enrolment in structured activities is not the only way to gain the benefits of exercise. Using travel time is a great alternative for those busy families to get more active! Use our getting started guide to help your family plan a fitter future.
Active transport to school
Using free or cheap alternate transport (walking, cycling, scooting or even taking public transport) to and from school can greatly increase the amount of physical activity children achieve across the day, and costs far less than fuel to get there and back. Remember, if you live too far from school, part way is okay.
For more information and ideas see our active transport to school section
Items that get kids motivated to get outdoors are great alternatives to unhealthy snacks and treats. Sports equipment, clothes, or simply trying something new are great ways to reward kids. Some low-cost rewards ideas to get kids active include:
- Create a treasure hunt game. Place household objects around the house or in the yard for a bit of outdoor fun together.
- Purchasing chalk and make your own games. Mark courts on the ground, or draw 4-square pitches or hopscotch fields.
- Water based items such as water bombs and water pistols are always a hit!
- Cheap equipment such as tennis balls, skipping ropes, hacky sacks, and hula hoops can have children (and adults) entertained for hours.
- Family day trips together are a great way to reward kids. For ideas on family activities away from the home visit our ‘Out and About’ section.