This was originally posted by the Marion & Polk Early Learning Hub here.

We definitely enjoyed the run of great weather we had to start the month of May around here…did you?  We played outside in our backyard, went to the park multiple times, went to our local children’s museum and had an awesome experience watching the swallows zoom up, over and around the pedestrian bridge nearby as well.  We also had a fun backyard barbecue with our Grandma Great on Mother’s Day where we learned how far each of us could kick my daughter’s new purple ball! In our house, when the weather gets nice we try to spend a lot more time outside enjoying it.

With the rain returning in full force this week it has been a little harder to find the motivation to be active, but we know how important it is to get our children’s bodies moving and to encourage their physical as well as mental development.  So we have a few tried and true “go-to” activities to encourage them to move and be active even if we can’t go play outside.

Yoga – This is one of my favorites and something that my kids have really enjoyed as well.  Yoga is awesome for encouraging flexibility and activity, but also helps calm the mind. It’s also really fun to watch how good my son is at some of the poses already, and really funny to watch how good my daughter tries to be at the same poses.  While often my daughter (only 2 years old) ends up climbing on me instead of doing the poses, it’s still a fun family time that encourages us to move. I highly recommend searching for videos from “Cosmic Kids Yoga” on YouTube…it’s our favorite!

Pretend wrestling and roughhousing – We have to be careful with this as my son gets older (mostly for my safety!) but wrestling, tickling and roughhousing are all common occurrences in our house and allow us to be active and have fun together.  We always make sure to instill boundaries and rules and stop as soon as someone says they are done to help them learn how to control their bodies and make sure that others are respecting their bodies too.

Chase, hide-and-seek and more – We have the perfect running circle in our house down our hallway and in and through the kitchen.  This path is well worn now after chasing my son and daughter for many years. Our kids also really enjoy hide-and-seek and it is high comedy to be the seeker in these games and find your children in what they consider “great” hiding spots!

This is fatherhood…