Annabelle Gurwitch's 5 Family-Fun Tips to Get Your Kids Moving
You're exhausted. The kids are exhausted. The easiest thing to do is grab the TV remote or turn on the computer and zone out. We've all been there! But with a little extra effort, you and your kids can spend quality "play" time together. We checked in with funny mom Annabelle Gurwitch
, TV personality and author of You Say Tomato, I Say Shut Up
, who shared five fun parenting tips for getting your kids unplugged and moving in the right direction for family fun.
- Think up fun alternatives to TV! "I'm always looking for fun alternatives to turning on the TV or the computer. The best investment I've made in my life as a mom: our trampoline! You can't jump on it and not be happy. It's pure fun! For a little while, we were into playing games like Twister and Othello. Now we're saving up for a Ping-Pong table. We even bought this portable net that you attach to a table and it comes with little paddles and balls so you can play it anywhere."
- Get artsy! "We always have paint in our backyard. It's water-soluble paint that my son used to love to play with when he was younger. One of my favorite photos of him—the picture I'll blackmail him with at his wedding—is of when he painted his entire body blue and green and danced around naked."
- Grow what you eat! "It's really fun to grow your own vegetables with your kids, particularly when they're young. We've grown apples and lemons in our backyard, but even if you don't have a yard, you can grow herbs in a window box. And when I was growing up, we grew kumquats ... in an apartment! It's fun to show kids you can grow things to eat."
- Find free activities! "Take advantage of all of the free local activities you can do with your family for fun. Check out free theater, concerts, and free nights at museums. Walk through a farmers market and try new food, go to a local fair, or have a picnic and bring a ball to kick around. It may take a little extra work to plan, but you'll introduce your kids to so many different experiences."
- Volunteer for a good cause! "A great way for kids to get active is to do service. My son has worked in a soup kitchen and he's helped rebuild homes in Louisiana with the organization Rebuilding Together. I was so excited to take him down to New Orleans, and so many people praised him for volunteering and told me he was so dedicated. After three or four hours of shoveling (see us in the photo above), I said to him 'I am so proud of you.' And he said, 'Mom, I'm getting the best six pack.' That's kids for you."