Easter is just a few short days away and for many of us look forward to this time of year to spend a bit more quality time with our families.
It’s also a time for both children and adults alike to over-indulge in lots of chocolate and other treats.
As you plan your family’s Easter weekend, make it a point to establish healthy traditions. Easter provides a perfect opportunity to make healthful, outdoor family fun a bit part of what makes holidays “happy.” When your own children grow up they’ll be likely to repeat traditions that bring back warm memories.
Here are a few ideas for how to work a bit of exercise into your Easter celebrations:
– Instead of chocolate eggs for your egg hunt, use hollow plastic eggs that you can open and fill with smaller treats like a handful of m&m, a few mini eggs or foil wrapped eggs or some jelly beans. The kids will get a smaller amount of candy overall and you’ll make a buck stretch a lot further.
– You can also turn your egg hunt into a treasure hunt by putting small clues in the hollow eggs, so your kids know where to look for the next one. Bump up the activity level (and the fun quotient) by making them travel from clue to clue in a silly way, like hopping on one foot, doing the crab walk, bouncing like a bunny or crawling on their hands and knees.
– Play Easter Egg Tag: Tie an empty Easter basket around each player’s waist. Give each of the players some plastic eggs (you can reuse the ones you used for the egg hunt). Instruct the kids to try to get rid of their eggs by putting them in other player’s baskets. The winner is the person with the least eggs in their basket or the first one to get rid of all of their eggs.
– Have an Easter bunny race: Substitute a potato sack for an old pillow cases for this one and get the kids to decorate them by drawing Easter eggs and bunnies on them with marker. Then get them to climb in so they have to hop like the Easter bunny and get them to race from one end of the yard or driveway to the other. If you’re stuck inside on a rainy day, turn your living room or playroom into an Easter bunny obstacle course – get your little bunnies to hop around furniture and crawl under coffee tables to slow them down. Or get them to go one at a time and time them, to avoid them crashing in to each other if the space isn’t big enough.
– Try your hand at Easter-egg bocce ball: An Italian-inspired Easter game, this one is played with each person receiving a colored hard-boiled egg. Take a white egg and gently toss it onto the lawn or carpet. Take turns rolling the colored eggs to see who can get the closest to the white one without touching it – or breaking their egg. For real fun, try it outside with raw eggs.
– Have an egg roll race: Maybe you can’t be at the annual egg roll at the White House, but you can start your own Easter tradition at home. Each child is given a hard-boiled Easter egg. The object is to get it from the starting line to the finish line. There are several ways to roll the egg. The White House version allows the kids to push it with a spoon. An alternative is to push the egg with the feet without cracking the shell. Alternately, the kids can be instructed to get on their hands and knees and push their eggs with their noses. The egg roll can be held outside if the weather is nice, or inside if the weather doesn’t co-operate.
– If you’re lucky, you’ll get a beautiful spring day so you can get some fresh air together. Go for a family bike ride or walk in the park. Make a hopscotch with sidewalk chalk. Climb the jungle gym at the playground or skip rocks down by the lake.
Dalplex, Dalhousie University’s main fitness and recreation facility, has been proudly serving the community for over 30 years, offering a wide variety of fitness, wellness and recreation programs and classes for adults, children, youth and seniors. Visit their website or follow them on facebook.