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Physical Education

I have found that by not offering television and computer access, my kids are naturally active.  Really, the thought that I would need to do something to inspire them to get up and move is laughable!  I am usually saying things like "Stop climbing on the furniture/walls/sister" or "Don't run in the house" or "Please don't throw the ball/block/doll in here".

That said, we have given some thought to their physical education.  We have paid for gymnastics, dance,  swimming, horse-back riding, Tae-Kwon-Do and Karate classes.  Fun, yes.  Expensive, double yes.  We may do more of that in the future.  But for now I am looking at ways to get exercise with the kids that doesn't cost us very much.

Hiking is a family favorite.  There are flat, paved trails for longer walks with smallish ones in strollers.  And there are more strenuous hikes with smallish ones in baby backpacks.  The Appalachian Trail runs right through our town.  Big Dad takes Jor Man on what they call Adventure Hikes.  They start in our yard and go into the "forest".  There are beavers there that have made dams and created waterfalls.  Jor Man is excited to take us all this summer.  I gather the idea of an Adventure Hike is to be adventurous - crossing streams and going off the beaten path.  Think Indiana Jones.

Of course you know we swim at the hotel when we go to Boston, but we also swim in the lake in the summer.  This year we plan to take the kids canoeing on the lake.

Dancing expends a lot of energy and is fun.  Whenever the kids are grumpy, I put on some upbeat music (80's music is so fun) and start dancing myself.  That usually makes them laugh and join in, changing the whole mood of the day.  There are some funny (and challenging) aerobic workouts on Netflix that we try and do, and we all end up gasping for air and laughing.

Yoga Kids is fun, and not too weird spiritually.  These are good for calming and center kids.  Really.

I personally love to belly dance.  If you don't belly dance, hula hoops are fun!  Big Dad got a couple for me last year that are weighted and easier to do.

Yard work is great exercise!!  I weeded in the yard yesterday, and my glutes keep reminding me of the work I accomplished!

Our neighbors are retired circus performers (yes, really!) and they have a huge trampoline in their yard.  We are welcome to use it - and most any day that is warm enough, we do.  The kids are getting really good at jumping - it's great for core muscles.

Biking is a family favorite.  This year Sher Bear is finally able to get the hang of peddling, so this is more for older kids.  Although you can attach a baby seat to your bike.

Obstacle courses are fun and easy to set up.  Kids love to climb over, under and through things.  I will make a course involving climbing over the ottoman, crawling under the table, doing a somersault though the kitchen, walking like on a tightrope on a line I've made with masking tape on the floor,  jumping from one line to another. . . you get the idea.

Go to the park and do somersaults or log rolls down the hill.  Play a game of freeze tag.  Get out some balls and cones to practice soccer skills.  Grab some tennis balls and teach them how to bounce and catch.  Run relay races with pine cones.  Climb trees.

This year for Christmas we got a Wii.  That's pretty fun for the winter months when it is too cold to go out.  But there is also iceskating, sledding and snowball fights in the winter.

Okay, I'm tired now just from writing this!

Wish you were here!

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