A New Year, A New You: Helping Kids Pick and Stick to a New Year’s Resolution
What’s the secret to sticking to a New Year’s resolution? Besides just picking a resolution, coming up with a plan of how to put your resolution into place in your lifestyle can put you on track for resolution realization. The plan provides motivation, an attainable goal, and hopefully a bit of fun. For kids (and adults too), resolutions can bring about growth and change, as well as an opportunity for family bonding. If working towards the resolution is a positive and enjoyable journey, it can lead to long term change as well.
For this year, an idea for a New Year’s resolution focused on kids as well as the whole family could be daily family physical activity. Besides just deciding on a resolution of daily family physical activity, having a plan of how to add daily family physical activity can make the resolution a success. One way to plan for success is through using a family physical fitness bingo. What would using a family physical activity bingo do for your kids (and the entire family)?
- Motivation: Your family physical activity bingo can be placed in a common area in your house (such as on your refrigerator), so that it’s easy for all to see. Kids can have the job of crossing out activities as they are completed, which will motivate them to want to complete and cross off activities to make a bingo. Also, allowing the whole family to give input as to what activities are on the bingo makes each family member feel a part of the resolution, which is motivating as well. Finally, the reward you choose for completing a bingo provides motivation.
- Attainable goal: Whether your family crosses off one square in a day or five, you’ll have participated in small bouts of physical activity together that can fit into almost any schedule. Scratching off the activities as they are done is a reinforcement that a goal for the day has been met.
- Fun: Allowing kids to add their activity ideas provides plenty of fun. For example, having everyone repeat dance moves created by a seven year old boy pretending to be a t-rex is sure to bring belly laughs. Give your activities fun names, such as “monkey bar river crossing,” where everyone has to pretend that swinging from bar to bar is the only way to get across raging river rapids. Even if you use our suggestions for the bingo, you can make them your own. For instance, your nature walk around the neighborhood can turn into a make believe adventure as you pretend to hike through a jungle and imagine all of the animals you would see.
Make planning out your family physical fitness bingo a family affair where you all contribute activities to the bingo board. Having the whole family contribute and participate helps to make everyone feel invested in the resolution. Also, having the whole family work on this resolution together gives the kids positive role models to observe along your journey towards more physical fitness. Together, you can also determine the reward. Will you reward yourselves for completing five activities in a row, therefore making a bingo? Or will you make the challenge more difficult by rewarding yourself only once every activity is scratched off? Also, determine what your reward will be. For small children, putting a sticker on the bingo board itself once an activity is completed could be a reward. Maybe the accomplishment of completing the whole bingo board is reward enough. Or maybe the reward is getting out the popcorn maker and enjoying popcorn together or playing a board game as a family.
You can make as many bingo boards as you need for your family. Maybe your family completes all of the activities in one week. Then you can make a new one (or print one) each week. Your bingo activities may change from season to season, including activities such as ice skating and snow ball fighting for the winter time. You may reach a point where you no longer need the bingo because the habit of daily family physical activity becomes a part of your daily routine.
We wish you a happy and blessed New Year with oodles of family fun, togetherness, and physical activity, which are all reinforced by our family physical fitness bingo.
Can we have a bingo printable where the family is able to type in the activities then print it? Or would they have to print out a blank one and write the activities in? My thought is to have an bingo that could also be printed if desired AND a bingo that can be filled in with ideas that the family has then choose our ideas to fill in the remaining days (sort of like the SHK meal plan).
The activities could be…
- Play favorite songs and dance.
- Animal races. Waddle like a duck, hop like a frog, or speed like a cheetah to the finish line.
- Freeze dance. When the music stops, freeze in your pose until the music begins again.
- Exercise follow the leader. Each person does an exercise and everyone repeats it 10 times.
- Jump rope routine. Maybe hop on one foot for 10 jumps, both feet for 10 jumps, then the opposite foot for 10 jumps. Or jump rope 15 times, drop the rope and run to the fence, run back, and jump rope 15 more times. If the kids are too little for traditional jump rope, use the jump rope as a line on the ground to jump over or as a slithering snake to avoid.
- Family walk through the neighborhood.
- Relay races.
- Learn a line dance or make up your own.
- Family bike ride.
- Tickle tag. The parents are the taggers, and when they catch the kids, it’s tickle time.
- Yoga time. Do a Cosmic Kids Yoga together.
- “Not just a” play set game. If you have a play set in your backyard, think of ways (or ask the kids) of how to use it in a different way. Maybe the monkey bars take you across raging rapids, and the fireman’s pole lets you slide into the ocean. The slide is actually a portal to the jungle.
- Play sharks and minnows.
- Have a plank contest. Who can hold it the longest?
- Play catch. Play a game of catch for 10 minutes.
- Rake the leaves then play in them.
- Play hopscotch.
- Play red light, green light. Mix it up by dribbling a soccer ball, balancing a book on your head, or anything else your family can think of to add to the red light, green light fun.
- Play Simon says with exercises.
- Visit a local park. Enjoy the sites while walking/playing. Bring your scooters, RipStiks, et cetera to ride around the park sidewalks.
- Follow the leader. Have the leader lead throughout the house or yard. Everyone else will follow and mimic the leader. March, stomp, hop, crab walk, etc. your way to fun.
- Balloon fun. Throw the balloon in the air and keep it from touching the ground. Or play balloon volleyball.
- Beach ball volleyball.
- Hula hoop fun. Use it to hula hoop, then put it on the ground to jump in and out of, then come up with your own hula hoop fun.
- Blow and chase bubbles.
- Enjoy a seasonal activity. Whether it’s sledding, swimming, or a walk through an area with gorgeous leaves changing colors, enjoy a seasonal activity.
- Participate in a fun run.
- Play Frisbee.
- Play cross the stream. On your driveway, use chalk to draw a stream. Vary the distance between the two lines to have some narrower parts and some wider parts (but do not draw the lines more than 4 feet apart). Find different spots along the stream and challenge family members to jump across. Have family members “cross the stream” by jumping with two feet together first, then by leaping. You can even pretend to swim down the stream if you don’t make it across.
- Animal moves. Have each child and adult draw moves (like prowling like a tiger, flying like a hawk, stomping like an elephant, swinging like a monkey) on index cards then mix them up and put them face down on the floor. Each person gets a turn to flip a card and everyone acts it out. As new cards are turned over, all previous cards should be repeated before acting out the newest card. You’ll end up with an animal line dance.
Print your Bingo card here!