Kids are naturally active and, if we could, we would bottle their energy and sell it by the dozen! But sometimes it’s a struggle to convince your brood to put down their video games and tablets, get up off the couch, and head out into the great outdoors for some good old-fashioned play time! To help motivate your kids to be be more active, try these games and exercises:

Sidewalk Chalk Hopscotch – get sketching with colorful chalk, and make a giant hopscotch board. Use bean bags (or a sock filled with rice/beans) to toss and hop to the corresponding numbers. For a fun updated version, make a solar system and “fly through space” instead of traditional block patterns. This is an excellent cardiovascular exercise and helps improve balance and coordination.

Speed Walk Through the Park – If walking is too slow and running is too fast, then speed walking is just right! Your kids will giggle at the way you look when you demonstrate how to speed walk. Host a speed walk challenge. Rules: you can’t run, you must swing your arms, and they have to walk that way for at least 60 seconds at a time. Whoever walks the furthest, wins! Need a twist? Bring a plastic egg to carry in spoon (it’s less messy than a real egg and still proves to be a challenge!)

Make Like a Frog and JUMP – You could technically choose any type of animal, but the point is to encourage your kids to act out the animals that jump, hop, leap, and fly. Help expand their imagination by helping them dress up. This “jumpy” exercise builds bone and muscle strength and keeps your heart healthy.

Be a Part of Their Play – Kids are great imitators, so set a positive example by getting active with them. Whether it’s joining in during their play time, having them join your exercise time, or heading out to the park for some together time, they’ll love spending the time with you. (Shameless plug – head over to Funderland Park for a family friendly day of rides, attractions, and family-sized fun!)

We encourage you to try these tips to motivate your kids to be more active this year. We’ve started out the year with a Family Fit-n-Fun Giveaway and shared the benefits of working out together to help inspire your family to claim 2014 as your year!