Last Saturday I was out on an early morning run and came across a Mom being followed by two elementary aged kids. The kids were obviously not too happy to be out - heads hung low, scowls on their faces and dragging ten paces behind their mom. The Mom was talking away, "You will NOT spend the entire day glued to the TV. You WILL spend some time outside. You WILL run around and play. And you WILL stop complaining about it!" I couldn't help myself. I circled back around and as I ran past the family again I gave the Mom a Hi-Five cheering her on with a loud "You go Mom!"
It was such a relief to know that I am not the only parent who struggles with getting her kids out of the house and in to the yard! Every evening after dinner I'm encouraging and pleading and yelling to get them outside. I must confess that at times I do enjoy the challenge of coming up with creative places to go and creative things for us to do.
I entitled my most recent successful attempt Playing with the Queen of Hearts. All you need is a deck of cards and six different stationary exercises (or however many you want to include!).
Using sidewalk chalk, I set-up six Exercise Stations - jumping jacks, squats, ab twists while holding a basketball, bicep curls holding bocce balls, jump rope and toe taps using a soccer ball- in a circle in my driveway. I placed the deck of cards in the middle of the circle. Everyone picked a different station to start at. We took turns picking a card. Whatever number was drawn was the number of times you had to do the exercise. Face cards were 10 repetitions. Aces were 11 repetitions. We counted out loud and did the reps together. Once done, everyone moved clockwise one station and another card was drawn. (I had removed the jokers, but my friend Dana shared the idea with me that if the Joker is drawn than you must do twice the number of reps of the next card.)
Trust me - my kids weren't jumping at the chance to try this, but once we got started we all had a GREAT time. Lots of laughter. Lots of moans when someone drew an Ace. Lots of sweat!
Playing with the Queen of Hearts was fun, easy to set-up and cost me absolutely nothing. SUCCESS!! I love the fact that we can pick different exercises and have the activity be different every time. This is one activity that won't get old.
Who knew a card game could include so much sweat!?! And the best part - everyone WON!