Somehow, watching a movie with the kids doesn’t count as screen time. The movie experience feels like family time. It’s a shared experience; one where parents and kids get to enjoy the same entertainment, laugh at the same jokes and talk about the movie when it’s over. Still, watching a movie is a fairly passive activity. While balancing your child's diet with a probiotic for kids and serving healthy foods is essential so is physical activity that helps them keep active. Here are eight exercises to do during movie time that will help make the time a little more productive.
Test how well your kids remember what they see with this simple exercise. This is a fun brain game that will give your kids a chance to show off their memory skills.
When a scene break occurs in the movie, pause it. Ask your kids some questions about the previous scene, like what color dress was the main character wearing? Or, was the castle moat bridge up or down? This will not only be a fun exercise for kids, but it will teach them to be more observant.
Word Activation Game
It’s fun to help develop your child’s listening skills, too. Good listening skills will help your child throughout their entire life, but especially in childhood, when they need to listen to instructions.
Choose a word that seems to be used fairly often in the movie you’re watching. For instance, the keyword might be princess, dragon, Harry, or something else. Every time that word is used, everyone in the room has to stand up. Those who are left sitting missed hearing the keyword! This spontaneous exercise activity works to keep kids from being “hypnotized” during the movie, effectively breaking the “spell” of passively watching TV for hours on end.
Scene Repeat Exercise
Most kids love to entertain adults, but they rarely get the floor to themselves. Your kids will get a kick out this scene repeat exercise that will simultaneously get them on their feet and serve their need to be the center of attention for a few moments.
After a particularly entertaining scene, pause the movie and have your children perform the same scene in their own way. They can spoof the scene, make it overly dramatic or put their unique personality stamp on the scene in any way that comes to mind. It will be interesting to see how much of the dialogue they remember, and how much they stay true to the scene or digress from it.
Outdoor Movie Night
Years ago, outdoor movie showings were commonplace. Many people didn’t have their own televisions, so communities would congregate to watch movies projected on the sides of buildings. These outdoor showings are nearly impossible to find now, but you can create a similar experience at home.
Hook up the TV outside so you can create an outdoor movie night. Faced with the option of sitting still for an hour and a half or running around in the backyard while watching the movie, most kids will choose the latter. You’ll be promoting exercise and boosting family bonding all at the same time!
Not every exercise requires running around. Your kids can get a workout just from being still when you play this fun statue game. Be ready to set the timer for 30 seconds. Have your child pose in a funny position; maybe something they saw a character do in the movie. (Let them choose it.) Set the timer and tell them they have to hold that pose until time’s up. To make it more fun, have kids try to beat each other’s time.
This game will help build your child’s core muscles, and they can still watch the movie while they’re “frozen.” As you know, it’s challenging to stay in a frozen position for any length of time!
If you’re watching a movie that has commercial breaks, you may be frustrated with the plethora of junk food ads being aimed at your kids. Fight back and get kids to exercise during movie time with this fun commercial challenge game.
Every time a commercial comes on, your kids have to move. It can be anything from dancing, doing jumping jacks or wiggling around, but it has to be a whole body movement, and they can’t stop until the commercial is over. The movement will distract them from watching the commercial, as well as get their metabolism revved. (Since commercials can sometimes come in multiples, it’s best to limit this game to one commercial per break.)
Since it’s likely that you’re lying on the couch watching the movie with your kids, these leg lifts will be easy to do. This exercise is for parents, but kids can join in if they want to.
Lay on your side and lift your upper leg up as high as you can. Hold for a count of ten, then bring it back down again. Repeat five times. Move down to the other end of the couch and repeat with the other leg. This exercise allows you to work on strengthening hip, thigh and core muscles without missing one line of dialogue from your kids’ favorite movie.
Another easy way for adults to exercise during movie time with the kids is to practice chair dips. To do, position yourself in front of a sturdy chair with your arms on the seat behind you. Dip down until you can feel the burn in your triceps. This easy exercise can be done with a kitchen chair quietly in the background as your kids watch the movie. If you want some extra motivation, do it during commercials as your children do one of the other exercises for them mentioned above.
Lights, Camera, Action!
These eight exercises to do during movie time with the kids will help the whole family to stay in shape, even during a relatively passive form of entertainment. Remember, the more you and your kids practice movement, the better your whole health will be!