We all want to encourage our kids to adopt a fit and healthy lifestyle, and what better way than to lead by example? The following activities promote fitness, knowledge, agility … and probably even a little parents vs kids competition. What will your family do next?
1. Beach/Park Cricket
Winter, summer … it doesn’t matter, heading to the beach or local park with a set of stumps, a couple of bats, a bouncy ball and the whole family will add cheer to everyone’s day. Calls of ‘Howzat’ are a must, as are escapades into the nearby water and bushes to find the cricket ball after a sixer. Choose a location that has electric barbecues and you can celebrate a great family day with a snag sandwich.
2. Sports Museum
We’re lucky in Australia to have been blessed with a mega list of sporting stars throughout history. From athletics to cricket and swimming, you can show off to your kids our nation’s sporting heroes and memorabilia at places including the NSW Hall of Champions and the SCG Museum. Your kids might even grace those walls some day.
3. Putt Putt Golf
We love putt putt golf, mini golf (or whatever you like to call it) as a family activity. Modern courses can feature all kinds of wonderful obstacles – waterfalls, motorised bits and pieces, bridges, streams, sand traps – you name it. It all makes for a totally joyful time with kids of all ages, while you hone a few of your own skills. The look on your face as your seven-year-old executes Adam Scott-like putts while you’re stuck in a bunker three holes prior – priceless!
If your kids love to surf or boogie board, don a brave face, and a wetsuit if the water is cold, and join them! Some places near bigger beaches, including Cronulla and Manly, rent surfboards, so there is no excuse. The kids will love you for taking an interest in their interest, and you might just learn a new trick or two.
5. Indoor Rock Climbing
The terrific thing about indoor rock climbing is that it caters for all ages and all abilities. Plus, you can do it even when the weather is atrocious. Don’t forget to pre-purchase some Voltaren Gel or Dencorub for those sore muscles the next day, as you’re likely to regret showing off your ‘expert climbing skills’ to your kids.
6. Mountain Biking
Don’t you love a family that rides together?! You can always stick to the usual bike paths, but why not take the fun up a notch if you have older kids and go bush? There are a tonne of national park areas in and around Sydney, with trails of varying difficulties. Pack a picnic lunch and make a day of it. You never know, it could become a regular family event.
7. Bubble Football
Ok, this isn’t for the faint-hearted, but it is serious serious fun and laughs. Just watch out for your teenagers throwing themselves at you like human missiles, as they are bound to do. This is a ‘sport’ where all rules are thrown to the wayside.
Just about every suburb in Sydney has a tennis court for hire, and you can easily pick up racquets for under $20. Several tennis balls (a couple of extras just in case some go flying into a stranger’s backyard), and you’re ready for family tennis day. Little ones can hit a ball up against a practice wall, while older kids will delight in making you run all over the court!
This activity is a little bit different and so makes for a memorable and fun couple of hours. Catering for all ages (as long as you can hold a bow), you simply channel your inner Robin Hood or Maid Marian and aim for that bullseye. Will the kids or adults shoot the straightest? Winners can get to choose the next film for family movie night!
10. Scooter Riding
This is an activity the kids love to do, so why not do it with them? Grab an adult scooter (and a helmet) and traverse the many cycleways around Sydney. You’ll be amazed at how exhilarating a scooter can be, especially when you are challenged to a race! And you mustn’t forget the obligatory stop along the way for a coffee or ice-cream … you will have earned it!
Have you tried any of the above activities with your family? Let us know how you fared in the comments section below.