Sunday, 18 March 2012

Youth Sports Weekend: Active Play at Home

When I first has the idea of a Youth Sports Weekend blog post, I envisaged it to me more than organized sport, but to celebrate and encourage an active lifestyle. So, today, I thought I’d share with you some of the ways  that help me maintain an active lifestyle for my children at home.

I have always enjoyed physical activity myself and this was something that I desperately wanted to share with my children. In the early days, before the girls stated school, physical activity was an absolute necessity. It was my strategy for surviving the long lonely days with the children…. Getting out of the house to go for a walk, a play in the playground, a bike ride or playing in the yard. Keeping my oldest daughter active (and tiered)  was seriously the only way I could manage her behavior and get her to sleep at night!

This is some of the equipment I have found indispensable for having an active lifestyle at home. I believe that encouraging active play at home has established the foundations for more organized sport. My kids have developed fitness, strength and perseverance through play. They have also developed essential skills of catching, hitting, kicking, balancing and many others…just though playing and having fun  in the back garden!


If I was to name the single best purchase I have made for my kids then it would be the trampoline! It has provided hours and hours of active play for my kids when they were smaller. Now it also serves as a practice mat for practicing gymnastics skills

Totem tennis

Our family just love this retro game! It’s great for practicing hand-eye coordination with out always chasing the ball!

Swing set

My kids have spent countless hours on the swing set. The swings are not just swings…they are a  climbing frame, obstacle course, a space ship and a submarine!.........

Bikes, scooters, rip sticks, rollerblades etc

My kids have gotten so much enjoyment from this equipment

Tyre swing....always good for smiles!!

How have you managed to keep the kids active at home?? What equipment or toys have you found the most useful or cost effective. I would love to hear  your suggestions in the comments below, or on my Facebook page. You can even add a Blog post to the linky tool at the end of the post.


  1. We love love love our trampoline!! I bought it for Peanut's second birthday, and I think she's been on it every non-pouring day since. (So, you know, not much last month!) Now Bug is getting in on the action. It's great to help her with her growing walking skills, walking on the tramp needs plenty of balance and some serious baby-abs.

    We have a park 100m up the road, and we ride there and (round the block) on trikes. I want to get a scooter next birthday too, in hopes Peanut can scoot behind me while I run with Bug in the jogger.

    Another, slightly left of field "toy" is chickens. My kids will chase them round the yard for hours if I let them. Gosh, I wonder why they aren't laying yet? ;) and on the same page is dogs. They love to walk and run with Archie the dog until he is tired.

    1. Thanks for your great contribution to Youth Sports Weekend! My son grew up on the trampoline as well copying the girls...I reckon he must have great balance!!

      I love how having the pets at home has helped keep your kids active! Awesome!

  2. Thanks for the reminder about totem tennis! We had that as kids and loved it. My kids (almost 4 and almost 2) might be a little small for it, but I'll bet they would love it anyway. Birthdays are coming up...this is a great idea!

  3. Thanks for your lovely comment! My 4 year old just loves playing totem tennis....

  4. We are SOOOOO close to having our backyard back! I can't wait to get a swing set and trampoline. And now totem tennis! Thanks for the reminder - I used to LOOOVE totem tennis! Great post.

    1. Thanks Emily! I hope you and your little one enjoy your backyard!!

  5. Yes, yes and yes to all of the above.
    Our trampoline gets used and abused by Magoo and the whole street daily.
    My favourite part of our day is a family walk/ride/scoot to the local park before or after dinner.
    We also love the totem tennis and totem soccer for 'contained' fun!
    The kids love when we make (or they do) obstacle courses/circuits for them to complete over and over and over.
    Just toys and household or garden items used imaginatively.
    Running under the sprinklers or hose is another Summer favourite here too.
    The possibilities are endless....
    :-) xx

    1. Thanks Shar! I loved your comment!! There is nothing better on a hot summers evening than hearing the excited squealing of the kids running under the sprinkler!

  6. tick, tick and tick I too am guilty of forking out for outdoor equipment - anything to encourage play I say! Oh that and muddy pies in the veggie patch!

    1. Thanks Karla!! kids can just have so much fun playing with mud and water!...and then they look at you, in expectation, with big gorgeous eyes...and ask that you taste one!!

  7. We are lucky enough to live close to the beach and wonderful parks, so it's only a matter of time until we get out and about with the balance bike and scooters and use those paths for stuff other than walking (and running, and tripping)! Can't wait until she's big enough. The Small Child is also absolutely hanging for a "tramp-leene". I think it might have to be on Santa's list this upcoming Christmas!