As we discussed earlier this week, Type 2 Diabetes in children is on the rise. We can help prevent this epidemic by simply encouraging the kids to get outside and stay active for at least 30-60 minutes each day. With the warm weather finally here, this is the perfect chance for them to do so! In addition to this, sunlight also ensures that they are receiving adequate amounts of Vitamin D which is essential to growth and development. Here are a few of our favorite outdoor toys and games that will make playing outside even more fun than it already is!
Incred-a-ball – This is a 65″ giant inflatable ball that is sure to be fun!!
Blast Zone Water Slide – A pirate ship that has a water slide, pool, water guns, and sprinklers is sure to keep your little ones active!
Sprinkle Ball– A giant ball with sprinklers is the perfect way to have all of your little ones of all ages getting involved in an activity.
Parachute – We all remember playing with these in our elementary gym class so why not let your children have the same fun?
Inflatable Bouncy House– Every child loves a bouncy house.
Trampoline – This one is made for children and includes a safety guard to make it even more secure!
Not a fan of having toys in the yard? Here are some other options you can do!
What kid doesn’t want to play with a hula hoop? This simple toy provides more than fun; it’s good for you, too.
–For toddlers – Children as young as two and three can use a hula hoop while sitting. Have your child sit down with legs out in front of them. Help your child sit up straight to emphasize good posture. The child can lift the hula hoop up above her head, stretching arms up. Then your child can fold her body forward, placing the hula hoop in front of her, stretching the lower back, arms, and shoulders.
–For ages four and five – Help kids improve their balance and agility by setting up a hula hoop obstacle course. “Kids this age are learning to hop, skip, and jump forward, and are eager to show off how they can balance on one foot (for 5 seconds or longer),” according to The Nemours Foundation. Place three to five hula hoops in the yard and have the child skip, jump, or run through them.
Chalk can be used in place of a physical balance beam. You can draw a line for smaller kids, that’s straight or with corners and curves for them to follow, putting one foot in front of the other. For kids eight and up, try a hexagon, with numbered or lettered sides. You can instruct your child to hop or jump from one side or the other, or from the middle and out, to improve agility and whole body coordination. You can also help them draw the hop scotch grid for even more fun!
–Toddler – A simple game of rolling the ball with a toddler will teach hand-eye coordination.
–Ages four to five – Play toss with a ball and a spin. Toss the ball to your child, telling him to spin when you release the ball and then catch it. This helps kids with their balance and the skill of catching.
–Ages four to six – You need a bouncy ball and a hard, paved surface outdoors, preferably away from any roads or driveways. Have your child bounce the ball as hard as he can. Then your child tries to catch the ball. This works on coordination and catching skills.
Tag – It may seem like a silly or pointless game to adults, who can grow bored of this game. For kids, it’s not only fun to play, it’s great cardiovascular exercise. Any game that encourages kids to run or builds their cardiovascular endurance is one that will keep them healthy.
Other games that can be played with 1,2, or some for the entire family include three-person kickball, sprint races, Frisbee baseball, or multiple-person catch, badminton, hide and seek, golf or croquet, jump rope and capture the flag.