Back in June Odom Health & Wellness hosted a spectacular Family Fit & Fun Night at a park in Minnetonka. The purpose of the event was to 1. Get families out and active together and give them the opportunity to 2. Eat a healthy meal together as a family. Staying active as a family and family meal time are so important and OHW wants to help make it happen more often.
Mission Accomplished! We had about 115 parents and children eat, play and be healthy. OHW sends a big thanks to the Kids Eat Right National Campaign for awarding Odom Health & Wellness grant money given to make the night happen and we need to send a ginormous thank you to Whole Foods Market of Minnetonka for donating so much healthy and delicious food for the evening!
That June night was a success but we also wanted to equip families to repeat the event in their own kitchens and backyards. Here is a small recap of the evening and what went into the event. Use this information to plan a weekly family activity and meal together or maybe these details will inspire you to plan a fun night with a few families out and active together. Whatever is your scenario, think simple, fun and active. The more times you plan an evening like this, the more benefits you’ll see in your family.
This blog will explain the activities that we set up and the next blog will give you information from the nutrition presentation from the evening, links to the handouts we gave and the healthy menu Whole Foods Minnetonka prepared for us.
This doesn’t need to be difficult and you don’t need to spend a ton of money. Walk around your house and backyard and pick up items that can be rolled, tossed, crawled under, jumped over, wiggled through or carried. Set up a start and finish line and encourage your kids to run, wiggle, jump and roll. Here are some ideas:
- Pillow Case Leap Frog (We had a little difficulty because the wind kept blowing away our lilly pads!)
- Tunnel Crawl: If you own a retractable tunnel that’s great. If you don’t, line up chairs to crawl under or stretch out and tie a bed sheet parallel to the ground.
- Baseball Bat Spin: Classic
- Zig Zag Run: Set up any type of marker (orange cones) or household item (buckets) in a zip zap pattern to run through.
- Jumps: Line up objects of the appropriate height for your children and have them jump over a series of obstacles.
- Tire Roll: OHW was able to find clean, old tires (Thanks Amanda F!) that we laid out for kids to run through (think football practice) but we also had them prop up a tire and use their arm muscles to roll the tire a certain distance. You can do the same thing with a hula hoop.
- Sprint: Run as fast as you can from point A to point B.
- Crab Walk: Have your child sit on their behinney, put hands and feet on the ground, lift themselves off the ground and “walk” backwards.
- The list really is endless with a little creative thinking and household items.
Ok, this one required preparation and I had two expert engineers assemble this for me. The basic idea is to bend thin pool noodles into circles, tape them together and lift them up somehow. Viola! Holes to throw a football through. We had pipes from a hockey goal that supported our noodle holes but you can hang the noodle holes from a tree, have someone hold up the noodles (if they are willing to dodge footballs) or tape the holes to something upright like a basketball hoop. This is a fun activity for parents to interact with and encourage their kids to continue to improve-whether that is to throw the ball farther or throw the ball more precisely. Here is what our football throw looked like. We ended up moving it out of the wind.
Deephaven Life Magazine sponsored the bounce house for our June event but you can rent a bounce house for fairly cheap for several hours. With a little crowd control, your little ones will bounce, jump, run, fly, and somersault to healthier lungs, heart, muscles, body control and coordination.
Slew of Toys, Balls and Active Games
You can’t go wrong here and the point is to play, move and be active as a family. If you have younger children, show them how to play certain games or use certain balls. If you have older children, play with them. Don’t be shy and pick up a racket, a nerf ball, a jump rope, a water gun, or any other object that will make your kids laugh, run and play.