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Active Ideas

Fun Activities for You and Your Family

​​​​​​​​​​Sometimes all it takes is one good idea to get you to be active. Here are lots of ideas for you to try with your family. Choose activities that you think will be fun. Try something new that you've never tried before, but always think about your abilities and level of fitness before you do. Starting slowly is safe for most people. If you have any questions or concerns, talk to your healthcare provider.

Activities You Can Do Outside

Winter

Winters in Alberta can sometimes be long, so get outside with your family and:

  • play in the snow: build a snow person, or make snow angels
  • go tobogganing
  • go skating
  • try cross country skiing

Fall

Fall is a good time to get outside with your family and:

  • rake leaves and take turns jumping into the pile
  • go to an open field and fly a kite

Spring and Summer

Take advantage of the warm weather and go outside with your family and:

  • plant a garden and let everyone have their own special section
  • run through the sprinkler or play catch
  • go on a weekly active outing to the park or for a walk with neighbours
  • go for a bike ride—make sure to wear helmets
  • play hacky-sack, hopscotch, basketball, volleyball, tennis, or baseball
  • go hiking, camping, or swimming

Activities for any Season

Do activities as a family or let your children bring friends with them. Here are some ideas to help you stay active any time of year:

  • go for a walk or to a park in your neighbourhood and play Frisbee
  • plan a family road trip and bring a soccer ball or baseball to use on the way or when you get there
  • walk at night and look for stars
  • go swimming indoors
  • go bowling, skating, or to a museum
  • go for a walk in a mall or to an indoor playground

Staying Active When You're On the Go

Sometimes people get busy and it’s hard to fit activity in. If that happens to you, try these ways to be more active:

  • organize a “walking school bus” and have parents take turns walking children to school
  • take the stairs whenever you can and park your car at the back of the parking lot to walk more
  • get off the bus two stops early and walk home
  • walk or bike to do errands or park in a central location and walk from place to place
  • volunteer to help your child’s sports team with warm-ups or social events
  • make time for active play, just like you schedule time for homework
  • carry groceries instead of using a shopping cart

Family Games

Another great way to be active with your children is to play games. Taking part in activities like these make you a good role model for your child:

  • play hide and seek, tag, charades, "Simon says", or look online for a new game
  • make a family scavenger hunt
  • organize neighbourhood games and play parents against children
  • pass the remote and whoever is holding it during commercials has to lead a family exercise break
  • play house, build a fort, or put on a show
  • play games outdoor games like bocce ball, badminton, or croquet

Around the House

There are lots of ways to stay active with your children at home like:

  • make an obstacle course and keep a chart with everyone's times
  • during commercial breaks while you’re watching TV:
    • run on the spot, do push-ups and sit-ups, or stretch
    • play catch with a foam ball
    • see who can do the most jumping jacks
  • doing household chores—give everyone a task and listen to music while you work
  • plan a walk every day after supper and keep track of everyone’s steps on a chart
  • be “snow angels” and shovel driveways and sidewalks in your neighbourhood
  • exercise with fitness videos, apps, or TV shows like yoga or aerobics
  • watch a show as a family and for every hour you watch, be active for an hour
  • wash your vehicles or clean up the yard

Being Active In Your Community

Here are some ideas of how you can be active in your community:

  • try classes at a recreation centre or fitness facility
  • encourage your children to be active during recess, at lunch, and after school
  • encourage your children to try doing team sports—being part of a team is more important than winning
  • plan a family game in your neighbourhood
  • start a "family health club" (e.g., bike ride, swimming, floor hockey) once a week in your community
  • volunteer for clean-up events and community gardens
  • train and fundraise for a charity walk or run

Current as of: October 24, 2018

Author: Chronic Disease Prevention, Alberta Health Services