Especially when children reach puberty, they have less and less desire to do things with the family. Some children prefer to sit in front of their smartphones or computers, playing and communicating virtually with their friends. There are parents who are concerned that their child is not moving enough. Balancing screen time is important – especially if it doesn’t involve exercise. However, the two can also be brought together! Certain console games even work only with movement. And there are games that can be experienced together outside with the family.
If you have a game console like Playstation, Xbox or Nintendo Switch at home, you probably know sports and dance games. The choice is huge. Many of the games are not only fun for children and teenagers, but can also be played during a family game night. You can dance, play mini sports games in a digital board game, and much more. Accessories, such as Nintendo Ring Fit, are designed to enhance the fitness effect with the games. However, these must be purchased additionally. You can find an overview on GamePro‘s site, for example. VR glasses can also be used to combine play and movement. Stop by your local library or youth center. These facilities sometimes offer workshops on the topic or lend out equipment – including game consoles and the appropriate games, by the way.
If you’re worried that your child isn’t moving enough, why not make it a challenge? Some sports games allow you to record your training success. If you create different users and play against each other regularly, you can motivate each other.
Going for a walk on the weekend is boring for many children. But when it turns into a playful adventure, it’s a different story. Formats like geocaching and digital scavenger hunts combine exercise in the fresh air with digital devices. How the treasure hunt in the so-called geocaching works, you can read in our article about it. An alternative is digital scavenger hunts using Actionbound, which they can either create themselves or choose one from existing rallies.
If your whole family loves to play, whether with the board game or digitally, you can also get creative yourself. Which games can also be implemented outside? Why not try the old mobile classic Snake? Many teenagers love Fortnite. Elements from this, such as jumping, dodging and seeking cover, can be transferred to the analog world, e.g. with the construction of an obstacle course. Not only will you encourage your child to exercise, but you’ll also have a shared experience and a reason to talk with your child about his or her enthusiasm for games. There are also many youth projects that bring games and exercise together, for example with a FIFA indoor soccer tournament – maybe that’s something for the next birthday or class party.