Physical Activities Can Power Kids’ Brains
Guest post by Kilian Saekel
Getting kids off the couch and away from televisions and other electronic devices that have them sitting around for hours at time is important for health reasons, but it has another surprising impact. A new study found that kids who fit in extra physical activities in their day paid more attention in school and performed better in subjects such as reading and math. Sometimes getting kids interested in an activity that causes them to break a sweat is like pulling teeth, but taking things they love or that interest them and putting a fun physical twist on them can get them to rethink their personal ban on physical activities.
Kilian Saekel, CEO of A-Champs, has a few tips for parents on fun physical activities that can be done in the living room that kids will want to participate in and that can boost their brain power:
Play old school games- Play classic games such as “Red Light, Green Light”, “Mother, May I”, “Simon Says” or any other game that gets kids moving around. You can also put
- a twist on classic board games by creating your own rules that involve physical activities. Such as having kids do ten jumping jacks when they buy a property in Monopoly or running in place for a minute if they get sent home in Sorry.
- Scavenge the room– Hide objects around the house and have kids search for the item they think you are describing. Require kids to perform a certain physical activity (jumping jacks, sit ups, push-ups, etc.) before they are allowed to submit the item that they brought back to you. If they bring back the wrong item, they have to do twice the number of jumping jacks that are required before returning to the hunt! You can also set up a scavenger hunt where they search for animal figurines and have to act like the animal being called out such as hopping like a frog, running like a cheetah or flapping their arms like a bird.
- Set up camp– Have kids strap on backpacks and pack gear that they would need if they were going on a hiking/camping trip. Take them on a walking trip around the house and even pretend the stairs are a mountain they have to climb. When you feel like you explored enough, have kids make a tent out of a sheet in the living room. You can also set up a makeshift campfire with battery powered candles or equip kids with flashlights and take turns telling scary stories. Once you’re done have kids pack up the gear again and make their way back home.
- Don’t touch the lava- Spread pillows or couch cushions on the floor and have kids hop from cushion to cushion without touching the ground. If they do touch the lava, or ground, have them do 5 jumping jacks, sit ups and push-ups before they restart the course. You can make this game tougher for older kids by playing with smaller pillows or taping paper circles to the floor.
- Take the games indoors– Set up different sports stations around the living room. Create a basketball hoop using a trashcan, a volleyball net using string and two chairs and use old boxes for soccer goals. Have kids create new sports games or put twists on the old ones such as mixing soccer rules with the volleyball playing style where players must try to keep the ball in the air and make it in their goal before the other players try to take the ball away or block it from the goal.
- Mix in technology- Kids love anything that has a tech component. Find games, apps or videos that get kids up and moving instead of sitting on the couch like a zombie. NFL Play 60 and ROXs are both great options to get kids interested in physical activities along with mixing in technology. If your child is adamant about watching a show or movie pick a word or phrase that you know is used often and set a rule that they have to do a certain action like jump up and down or do high knees every time it is said.
Kilian Saekel, Co-Founder & CEO ofA-Champs
Kilian is a German born entrepreneur in the field of product development and manufacturing.
In 2010 Kilian’s wife successfully battled cancer. It was then when he started to appreciate the need to live an active and healthy lifestyle. In 2015, he founded “A-Champs” with the goal to inspire children to engage in physical activity and to help them set the foundations for living active and healthy lives. The A-Champs solution is an interactive gaming system that uses technology, video gaming play patterns and kids’ imaginations for real-world PLAY experiences that are screen-less.