It’s the most wonderful time of the year… but for every mince pie, family film and chocolate in your advent calendar, there’s the need to keep fit and healthy while we enjoy the festive period.
With taking time off school and work comes a gap in routine, and with celebration comes indulgence, so it’s essential to put some time aside to exercise and head into the new year feeling physically sharp!
As there’s so much to do over the Christmas period, it can be difficult to cram exercise into your plans. Especially as we enter the midst of winter, coming up with ideas to keep present-expecting children active, as well as entertained, is a real challenge.
We’ve put together our very own 12 Games of Christmas rhyme to provide you with simple ideas for presents, games, and recycling methods that keep you and your children physically occupied during Christmas time!
Active Presents to keep the kids moving
On the first day of Christmas, my parents gave to me…
An easy way to keep children excited about exercising is with the gift of sporting equipment. Here are some simple ideas to keep your kids moving!
1. A Skipping Rope in a pear tree
The pear tree isn’t necessary… but a cheap and cheerful skipping rope can provide hours of fun and burn endless energy!
While this tends to be more popular with the girls, show your little boy how the likes of Anthony Joshua use a skipping rope to get them motivated…
Just the one will suffice… It’s no secret that kids love to bounce around (at the expense of your furniture sometimes), and a trampoline will have them flying like turtle doves!
It’s not only an instrument for jumping around, it provides a space for their imagination to run wild!
It may be the priciest option on this list, but for the amount of activity, fresh air, and years of use your kids get out of it, it’s a shrewd investment.
The meaning behind French Hens seems a little symbolic and complicated.
Frisbees on the other hand, are a simple way to get all the family involved in some fun activity!
A great, easy way to spend some time in the garden or your local park.
4. Rolling blades
Entirely different from calling birds – why fly when you can skate around?
Rolling blades are a classic children’s gift; the combination of activity and novelty provides limitless fun!
Warning: your little ones may grow to dislike normal shoes.
5. Hula Hoops
Like golden rings, but bigger (and not to be confused with the crisps).
Hula Hoops are an excellent way to get your whole body moving!
They can make an excellent Christmas Day competition, as well as make the adults look silly!
6. Footballs rolling
If only Geese laid Premier League footballs, rather than golden eggs – they’d probably make a lot more money.
For the sporty kids and football fanatics, a new football is all the encouragement they need to get outside and play!
7. Scooters scooting
Not quite as elegant as a swan swimming, but the perfect way to get started for kids interested in skating.
Riding a scooter is easy to pick up and can develop into an impressive skill once taking to the ramps. Also, much safer than a skateboard!
While the maids-a-milking so Santa can wash down his cookies, the Elves take a well-deserved rest…
Elf on a shelf is perfect for building Christmas spirit in your household, but hiding the elf as part of a game is a great way to get the whole family having fun!
Take a look at the rules of Hunt the Thimble and swap the thimble for your elf!
Imaginative Games (with video instructions)
9. Pirates shipping
Similar to ladies dancing, but with more eyepatches and less music. See the demonstration of our Pirate Ship Game below:
Keep your little lords leaping as they learn the rules of the road in our Car Game, demonstrated below:
Make recycling fun!
Why not use the Christmas headaches to your advantage…
11. Papers tossing
Make tidying up fun by disposing of your wrapping paper in a game of paper toss!
Easy, competitive, and much quieter than piper’s piping…
12. Boxes building
While recycling your cardboard is the environmentally-friendly thing to do, why let the fun go to waste? Use your boxes as building blocks and create your very own santa’s workshop!
Also much, much quieter than drummers drumming…
Save your leftovers too
While we’re on the topic of recycling, we’d also like to give a mention to the many people who will be without presents, family and shelter this Christmas.
We all tend to stock up the cupboards over the festive period, and often a lot of us have more than we need, so make sure you keep leftovers aside and drop them off to your local foodbank, click here to find your local foodbank.
How else can we help?
For any advice with keeping active over the Christmas period, or in preparation for next term, we are here to help.
While winter can be a difficult time to exercise, it’s also a particularly challenging period for those struggling with their mental health. Read our blog for help & advice with physical solutions for mental health.