Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and when you’ve got children, there’s no better time to show them that family togetherness = LOVE. As a Together Counts Energy Balance Ambassador, I’m always looking for ways to keep my family active together, and a holiday like Valentine’s Day is as good of an excuse as any! We’re not particularly athletic in our family, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have fun moving together. Here are three ways we like to maintain energy balance while celebrating special occasions with our kids. Why not try one of these active ideas for your family’s Valentine’s Day celebration?
Head to the “lover’s lanes” – the bowling alley
Bowling with my family is a blast, ensuring lots of giggles and true, old-fashioned effort. If your kids are like mine, they love hurtling that heavy bowling ball down that long, long lane and knocking down as many pins as possible. Most bowling alleys are accommodating to families, providing bumper lanes or ramps for kids who need it so that everyone can play (ahem, my three-year-old uses a ramp and with Daddy’s help – BEAT US ALL last week!) Bowling is such a fun way to spend time encouraging each other to be active with some friendly competition. Not to mention a great way to burn off a few calories and show the kids what active fun and family time are all about.
Make a Splash Together
Some of our very favorite family celebrations have taken place at a water park or community pool. We love to splash around together! If the climate is not in your favor on Valentine’s Day, you can still be lucky in love – the popularity of indoor community pools and water parks means that nearly everyone has one within driving distance. Spending a day swimming together is a fabulous active outing for most families, and it’s one every member of mine adores. Deal sites often have great discounts on tickets for water parks, too, so don’t forget to check for discounts before you head out.
Have a Heart Hunt
Don’t have the time for a big family outing? Here’s an idea that has worked well for me in the past – a holiday scavenger hunt. You can make this as simple, complicated, short, or long as you want to; just don’t forget to put an “active” component in the clues. To keep my kids active, I require they do some sort of fun physical exercise just to earn their next clue. From jumping jacks to hopping on one foot to follow the leader, there are many ways to work activity into an entertaining scavenger hunt where clues lead to Valentine’s treats or tokens. My older kiddos flip out with excitement when a hunt is under way – I’m sure yours will too!
Celebrating Valentine’s Day as a family can make this holiday truly special for your kiddos – after all, within the family is where we first learn about true, unconditional love. Giving your kids the gift of your time, energy, and willingness to get active with them is one that will help shape who they become, and one they won’t soon forget.
What’s your favorite way to celebrate Valentine’s Day with your family?
Jenny Rapson is a writer and social media project manager who lives in southwest Ohio with her husband of thirteen years and their three great kiddos. When she’s not cutting up grapes for her toddler or serving as referee for her school-agers, she co-authors the funniest parenting and lifestyle blog ever (written by first cousins, that is) over at Mommin’ It Up with her cousin Emily Berry.
For more information on celebrating Valentine’s Day as a family, check out this Together Counts resource: