Family activities are a great way to build stronger relationships and have fun—as long as everyone’s on board. Incorporating family outdoor activities into your schedule can instill a love of nature and healthy habits in your children that will last a lifetime. But sometimes it can be tricky to find family activities that appeal to everyone. It’s important to allow each person to participate at their own level of comfort and ability, so that the experience is one they’ll truly enjoy. Here are seven fun, flexible family activities to try with your crew:
1. Bike or walk to school.
With back-to-school time on the horizon, there’s no better opportunity to embrace a new family activity: cycling or walking to school. You and your kids can bike or walk together to start the day with fresh air and exercise, and as a nice way to wind down in the afternoon. If you’re a runner, you can still get your morning workout—just run alongside your kids as they pedal to school.
2. Make your steps count.
Is your family into gadgets? Get activity trackers for everyone (Fitbit, for example) and hold a weekly competition to see who can log the most steps. Adjust your tallies accordingly if anyone has an unfair advantage due to a particularly active job or school program. Award each week’s winner the right to choose that weekend’s family outdoor activity, to keep motivation high.
3. Tackle a 5K or 10K.
Register the entire family for a community run/walk event. Most races offer several distances so that there’s something appropriate for every age and ability, as well as the option to walk instead of run. Once you’re all registered, you’ll keep one another motivated to train. The race itself will be a celebration of what you’ve achieved.
4. Host a happening happy hour.
Instead of a traditional happy hour, start a new standard with your family: a happening happy hour. Commit to one hour each night before (or after) dinner where everyone comes together to do something active and fun. You can play volleyball, badminton, flag football, or soccer in the yard. You can walk the dog together through the neighborhood. You can play tag or frisbee in the park. You’ll get all the benefits of the exercise and work up an appetite, too.
5. Make a splash.
Take advantage of family pool time at your fitness club or local rec center. From lap swimming to water basketball to diving or just splashing around, everyone can do an activity they enjoy. Pack a poolside picnic or plan lunch at the club café so that you’re sure to gather together at some point during the day.
6. Get Zen together.
If your family craves a more calming activity, try yoga together. You can go to a local studio to attend an established class, or you can form your own family practice by following an instructor on streaming video or TV.
7. Get wacky and wild.
Three words: crazy dance party. If yoga is too tame for your family, try the opposite approach with an at-home crazy dance party that can happen rain or shine. The only rule is that everyone has to let loose—this is no time for choreographed routines. Turn off your devices, turn on some up-tempo music, and bust a move!
As your family gets into a fitness groove, it’s a perfect time to practice proper nutrition together, too. Make sure everyone is outfitted with a bottle to stay hydrated and take along on your family activities. The BlenderBottle® SportMixer® Grip works well for everyone. It has an ergonomic gripping surface that makes it easy to hold, and it comes in 20-ounce and 28-ounce sizes to suit every thirst.
What fun family activities work well for you? Share your favorites in the comments below.