Being Active is Fun!
Several years ago Family Fun Magazine had a great article about encouraging healthy fun. The Fitness Party was their focus. Of course, I tweaked it to meet our needs but the essentials are all here. The following is how we hosted our own party!
After invitations have been distributed and before the event gather all the equipment needed for each activity. We also gave out as a favor a water bottle to each child with their name on it. They weren't fancy and I wrote the names on in permanent marker including Fitness Party and the date as well. We then used these bottles throughout the day. I had a water station set up for everyone to fill up their bottle. We also had a snack break after all the events were over with fruit kabobs, whole grain crackers and a frozen yogurt cone. I think planning this for a morning rather then the afternoon when it gets too warm for everyone is best. Our party was from 9 AM to 10:30 AM. Also, depending on the number of children participating you may need or want to split into smaller groups to work through all the activity stations to limit wait time at each station and keep things moving.
Hula Hoop Whoop - This is a multi-functional station which starts with each person getting a hoop and giving it a spin around their waist/hips. There is a learning curve for those who are not hula hoop professionals so give everyone several tries. We had 5 hoops going at once here so you'll need some space. Next place hoops end to end (example: OOOOO). Children line up and take turns jumping from hoop to hoop. They get back in line and the second time around it is hop like a frog, next time it's walk like an elephant, etc. If you give the children the chance they'll come up with several ideas of their own.
Mega Hopscotch - Rather than play a game of hopscotch we opted for a mega hopscotch course for everyone to try out several times. The course twisted and turned over our entire driveway. The course needs a little prep but once you have it down on the pavement you only need keep participants in line. Older children should one foot hop where indicated while younger ones can jump onto squares.
We ended our party with a fresh and healthy snack bar. Everyone took home their water bottle as a souvenir. This kind of special party has so many options that can be offered and planned. We were able to use many of these activities for playdates or birthday parties. You might want to plan several Fitness Days throughout the spring and summer months. We'd love to hear your ideas or experiences with a Fitness Party or other special homemade activity - send us a comment!