A father and his daughter do yoga together in the living room.

Have fun with this 30-day family physical literacy challenge

Do you want to get more active with your family? Here’s a simple—and fun—way to do just that! Every day for the next 30 days, you and your kids can complete the daily activity listed below. It’ll help children develop physical literacy and, best of all, it doesn’t take up much time each day. If you’re not sure about the idea of a month-long challenge, watch this TED Talk about the benefits of trying something new for 30 days.

Day 1: Morning dance party

Start the day off on the right foot: wake up, gather the whole family, and dance! Dancing is a great way to develop coordination, balance, agility, and rhythm. Here’s a playlist that will inspire some awesome moves!

Day 2: Pretend to be animals

What’s easier or more fun for little kids than pretending to be animals? Turn their interest in pretend play into an opportunity to move like some of their favourite animals while developing coordination and balance.

Day 3: Step away from the screens

Try a day of unplugging! Have the entire family turn off electronics and replace screen time with a walk, a family game of mini-sticks, or a living room obstacle course.

Day 4: Get adventurous

Today may have your family going outside of your comfort zone. Embracing adventure often leads to being more active, family bonding, and lasting memories. Add some adventure into your day with one of these simple ideas and give your kids lots of opportunities to move in surprising ways. 

Day 5: Dodgeball

Time to dodge it! There’s no quicker way to get kids giggling than to hurl hacky sacks their way while they try to dodge them. Sound aggressive? It’s actually pretty fun—and helps them develop the skill of dodging which comes in surprisingly handy in life. Plus, we have eight other hacky sack activities from which to choose from if dodging doesn’t appeal to you. 

Day 6: Hop around

Challenge the family to develop their balance by hopping (on one foot at a time) tomorrow morning. Hop to breakfast, hop to the bathroom to brush your teeth, and then hop to the front door. Hopping to school is optional. You can even pretend you’re kangaroos!

Day 7: Throwing

You can use any ball you have around the house, or try one of our activities: bucket toss golf for kids aged 4-10, or for 1- to 3-year-olds, try bubble catch. Learning to throw properly will help your child develop arm and torso coordination, fine motor control, and the ability to “read” distances.

Day 8: Walk a tightrope

Develop coordination and balance with today’s challenge: tightrope fun. This activity can be made very simple for the younger kids and then expanded upon for the older ones. You’ll be amazed how much fun they’ll have with a roll of tape.

Day 9: Make chores fun

Have you always wanted to get your kids to help out around the house more? With some creativity, chores really can be fun! With these fun activities, not only will they jump at the chance, but they’ll be developing skills like throwing, jumping, and lots more. Here are some more age-appropriate chores for your child.

Day 10: Movie night

Watch Project Wild Thing with your family and talk about how you can add more nature into your daily lives. Get the kids involved in making plans and they’ll be more likely to get on board. Learn more about the film here.

Day 11: Roll (or sled!) down a hill

Step one: Find a hill. Step two: Roll down it. Or, if there’s snow on the ground, use a toboggan! Make sure to sled responsibly using these guidelines.

Day 12: Try curling at home

A great Canadian pastime influences today’s fun activity. Introduce your child to the fun sport of curling without leaving your home — all you need is an unwrapped bar of soap and some masking tape. Here’s how!

Day 13: Horse around

Today we challenge your family to play follow the leader as… horses! Using our Galloping Horse activity, teach your three- to six-year-olds to gallop, and then make it a family game. If you have older kids, try playing either Toss It or Marble Arcade.

Day 14: Kick, kick, kick

This activity is great for kids of all ages, from preschoolers to preteens. Get kids kicking with the sides of their feet instead of their toes and developing leg coordination, strength, and fine motor control in the lower body.

Day 15: Improve your sleep

Sleep is an important part of living an active, healthy life. Are your family’s sleep habits in good shape? Use these guidelines to assess your sleep habits, and try to make one adjustment that will lead to a better night sleep for all.

Day 16: Fortune teller

Remember fortune tellers? Bring back the game from your childhood and make it active with our handy Fortune Teller printable. With your family, take turns picking a “fortune.” The activities within will develop balance, coordination, agility, throwing, catching, and more.

Day 17: Crawl like a bear

Little kids love bears. Whether yours loves pandas, koalas, polar, or brown (or maybe just Winnie the Pooh!), they’ll have fun trying to imitate their movements. Here’s how to do the Bear Crawl—it’ll help your kids develop coordination, balance, and strength.

Day 18: Jump around

“Ah, might as well JUMP!” Try this easy jumping activity that can be made progressively harder for older kids and even adults.

Day 19: Have fun on a budget

Try a budget-friendly family activity together. Here are some suggestions for winter activities and some for summer.

Day 20: Be mindful

Science shows that a regular practice of mindfulness and meditation is good for our immune systems, brain activity, and reducing stress. Today, choose a mindfulness activity to do together as a family, such as these simple ways for kids to start developing mind-body awareness.

Day 21: Navigate the forest

Do you live near a forest? It’s a great time for a nature walk in the woods. If it’s a bit too far to travel, create an indoor obstacle course of trees, stumps, and creeks, and navigate the pretend “forest” in your living room. Both will help kids develop balance, coordination, agility, and more.

Day 22: Invent your own game!

Today’s activity is to make your own family game with your own unique rules. Some of the best games are the ones you create yourself! Your kids will always remember your special game. Find some inspiration here.

Day 23: Family yoga

Unwind with a family yoga session. There are lots of great poses kids can try, like these six mood-boosting ones. Here’s how to make yoga fun for the whole family.

Day 24: Simon Says

As a family, play a few rounds of Simon/Simona Says and have fun with the actions. Think: hop on one foot, walk like a crab, jump on the spot. What are your favourites?

Day 25: Trying new things

Try something completely new today: go for a walk in a different neighbourhood, find an indoor mini-golf course you’ve never been to, go bowling, or even try parkour as a family.

Day 26: Go swimming

Pack up the swimsuits, towels, and flip-flops and hit your community pool together for a family swim.

Day 27: Get inspired

Time to be creative! Use existing things around the house to make up fun ways of moving, like this idea from Holly LaRochelle at The Inspired Home: “Think outside the box; there’s a bunch of easy ways to move inside. Grab a stool and jump off it. Play tag. Jump on the bed. Practice your somersaults. Have a dance party. Ride your bikes around the basement.” Or choose another way to be active as a family today from this list of other great ideas.

Day 28: Brush those pearly whites

Feeling overwhelmed with a packed schedule? Developing physical literacy doesn’t have to take a lot of time. Today’s activity is to have everyone in the family brush their teeth with their non-dominant hand. That’s it! Sounds simple, but it’s surprisingly effective for helping kids get more comfortable using both hands for other tasks. 

Day 29: Take a stroll

Squeezing in some family time while getting active can be very simple. One easy idea for today is to leave the car at home or park it a couple of blocks away from your destination. 

Day 30: Park play

It’s time to go to a park. Dress for the weather and pack a snack. Don’t forget to bring a ball or a frisbee, or get inspired by these ideas

Bonus activity

Do you often find your family scrambling for fun, active ideas—or just need an excuse to get the kids away from the screen? Make an activity jar of your favourite activities from this 30-day challenge this , and pull it out in the future whenever someone says, “I’m bored!” or “What should we do today?” Try this step-by-step guide to make your own activity jar.

You did it! A month of fun, skill-building activities that will set your family on a path to developing physical literacy, new habits, and being active for life. But your commitment doesn’t have to end here. Keep following along with this site for daily ideas, activities, news, and inspiration.

Editor’s note: This article was originally published on Feb. 27, 2017.

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