It might feel almost impossible to try to substitute at-home activities for the imaginative games and play that were regularly found in your child’s physical education classes or team activities. However, some creativity can easily turn common household items into a mentally and physically stimulating game for your entire family. Keep up a physical activity routine with these ideas for an indoor-outdoor fitness scavenger hunt at home.
Search around your house and yard for the following items or landmarks. When you find them, do the listed exercise/activity. Do it together as a family, or make it a competition among siblings or parents and children.
Find a LAMP
Do 20 mountain climbers near it.
(Start in a push-up position with your hands under your shoulders. Bend your right leg and bring your knee toward your chest. Extend the right leg back to the floor then bend your left leg and bring your knee toward your chest. That’s one repetition. Repeat 20 times.)
Find a STEP STOOL
Do 10 step ups onto the stool with each leg.
(Start standing in front of the stool. Step onto it with your right foot then bring your left foot on the stool. Step back down with the right foot. Repeat leading with the left foot and do 5 repetitions with each leg.)
Find a PILLOW
Do 10 air punches and 10 air kicks (each side).
Find a TABLE
Use the table for assistance and do 15 push-ups.
Find a BROOM
Do 20 hops back and forth over it.
(Start with your feet together on one side of the broom. Hop up and over the broom to land on the other side. Repeat 20 times.)
Find a SINK
And take a quick drink of water!
Find a TREE
And do the “tree” yoga pose.
(Start balancing on your left foot. Bend your right leg and bring your right foot either to your left ankle, to your left calf, or to your left thigh above the knee. Keep your right knee out to the side, and hold for as long as you can, and up to 30 seconds, then switch sides.)
Find a WALL
Do a 45-second wall sit.
(Press your back into the wall and then bend your knees, sliding your back down the wall until both knees are bent at a 90˚ angle. Hold this position for 45 seconds.)
Find a SIDEWALK
Skip forward and backward for 20 seconds each.
Find a RUG
Bear crawl forward for 30 seconds.
(Start on your hands and feet with your knees bent and your back parallel to the floor. Step your left hand and right foot forward at the same time. Then step your right hand and left foot forward at the same time. Repeat, alternating sides and travelling forward for 30 seconds.)
Find a BED
Lay on it and kick your arms and legs 20 times like you’re swimming!
Find a CAN
Hold a can in each hand and squat 10 times.
(Start standing with your feet about hip distance apart. Keeping your weight in your heels, bend your knees and sit back and down as low as you can. Press through your heels to straighten your legs and come back to stand. Repeat 10 times.)
Find a BOOK
And hold a plank for 30 seconds with one hand on it (do both sides).
(Start in push-up position with your arms straight, hands under your shoulders, legs extended and feet together. There should be a straight line from your shoulders through your hips to your ankles. Hold this position for 30 seconds.)
Find a CHAIR
Do 20 squats or sits-to-stand using the chair.
(Start standing a little bit in front of the chair. Sit back until your hips touch the chair and then stand right back up. Repeat 20 times. If that feels too easy, remove the chair.)
Find a COUCH
And do 10 triceps dips using the edge.
(Start sitting on the couch with your hands along the edge, arms straight and fingers pointing down to the floor. Slide your hips just off the edge of the couch and bend your knees. Keep your feet planted on the floor, and slowly bend your elbows letting your hips dip toward the floor. Straighten your elbows and that’s one repetition.)
Find a PLANT
Reach up and stretch overhead then fold forward and touch your toes.
Find a BALL
Do 30 toe taps onto the ball.
(Start standing up straight then bring one foot to the top of the ball. Quickly hop and switch which foot is on the ball. Continue alternating feet for 30 repetitions.)
Mallory Carteaux, M.S., is an exercise physiologist with Fit4Allkids, a healthy lifestyle program of Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital.