Fun Ways to Get Active and In Better Shape

Getting in shape is one of those tasks that people feel the need to do, but they don’t really expect to get any enjoyment out of it. However, maybe getting active and improving the health of your body doesn’t need to be a complete headache for you. There are plenty of things you can do to have fun when you’re trying to get in shape! So read on to find out how you can have fun and get fit at the same time…

Fun Ways to Get Active and In Better Shape title on background image of people dancing.

Play Some Ultimate Frisbee

Frisbee isn’t just for kids, so you need to get that notion out of your mind right away. There are so many reasons why you should play ultimate frisbee if you never have before, but the prime reason is the amount of fun you get out of it. As well as that, you’ll find it really works your body out and helps you to get in shape if done consistently.

Take Boxing Lessons

Boxing doesn’t necessarily have to be associated with violence. Boxing lessons and training involve all kinds of things, and you don’t even have to take any punches if you don’t want to. Punching bags, skipping fast and working on your agility are just some of the things you’ll do, and they’ll definitely help you to get in shape. At least give them a try and see how it goes for you.

People practising boxing skills

Invest in a Trampoline and Bounce

Bouncing on a trampoline is never not fun, so it’s something that you should definitely look to do in your own garden. Simple find a rectangle trampoline that fits your garden and leaves you with enough space to do whatever else you plan to do in your garden. Just bouncing on a trampoline works a lot of the muscles in your body and gives you a decent cardiovascular workout.

Learn How to Dance

Dancing is usually viewed as a social activity, but it’s just as valid as a form of exercise. If you learn how to dance, you’ll be getting active a lot. You’ll be in better physical condition in no time at all. And at the same time, you’ll be experiencing all the joy and fun that comes with dancing.

Take Some Swings in a Batting Cage

You don’t have to be a baseball player to understand the joy of getting into a batting cage and take some swings at the ball as it flies towards you. In fact, it’s a great stress relief technique. You use up a lot of energy and burn a lot of calories when you’re taking swing after swing at the ball, so it should definitely help you to get in shape!

Who ever said getting in better shape had to be a drag? As the above ideas demonstrate, there are plenty of fun and entertaining ways for you to get active and get in better shape. When you’re enjoying what you’re doing, you will be more likely to stick at it too.

*This is a collaborative post.

Sports Challenge: Celebrating Sports For All

On Friday we took Squiggle to the athletics track to do some races. This reminded me that I never actually properly wrote up our fantastic sports challenge (100 days of sports) last year! 

100 days of sports, childhood unplugged, freedom to learn, Home Education, outdoors, PE, physical development, SEND, sports, Sports Challenge
Athletics track

I had started out by doing regular round-up posts about it but then for one reason or another, I decided to just do a big summary post at the end, once we had actually finished. But it never happened! We successfully completed the challenge, and had a great time doing it – I just didn’t get round to writing the post to share all the sports activities we did and brilliant fun we had! Oops! So I figured better late than never; Squiggle and I are excited to finally share this post with you… at last!

During the sports challenge, Squiggle took part in a wide variety of sports. Some activities we arranged ourselves, often with her home ed friends, whilst others we attended were organised sessions. I was pleasantly surprised during my research for this challenge at how many inclusive sports sessions are available, including some aimed specifically at SEND children. 

100 days of sports, childhood unplugged, freedom to learn, Home Education, outdoors, PE, physical development, SEND, sports, Sports Challenge
Netball

This has also led me to reflect on the great importance of sports being accessible to everyone and the huge value of disability sports for both physical and invisible disabilities. I think back to London Olympics and Paralympics 2012 and how we opted to take Squiggle to watch the Paralympics specifically, as not only is it truly inspirational and an incredible honour to watch live generally, but we felt it particularly important for Squiggle to have such role-models from a young age.

I am thankful that there is such a great awareness within the sports sector and for the investments that have gone into disability sports and developing inclusiveness. Bristol Street Versa have also created this infographic to celebrate the pioneers of disability sports; because without them, of course, probably none of this would ever have been achieved. 

(By the way, if you happen to be looking for a wheelchair vehicle, check out their website bristolstreetversa.com/new-wheelchair-vehicles)

100 days of sports, disability sports, pioneers of disability sports, physical development, SEND, sports, Sports Challenge

So anyway, back to the sports challenge! Here are some of the sporting activities that Squiggle took part in as part of 100 days of sports…

  • Athletics (long jump, hurdles)
  • Badminton
  • Basketball
  • Beach tennis
100 days of sports, childhood unplugged, freedom to learn, Home Education, outdoors, PE, physical development, SEND, sports, Sports Challenge
Beach tennis
  • Cricket
  • Football
  • Foot golf
100 days of sports, childhood unplugged, freedom to learn, Home Education, outdoors, PE, physical development, SEND, sports, Sports Challenge
Foot Golf
  • Golf
  • Hockey
  • Netball
  • Rounders
  • Sports day (including flat races, relays and fun races e.g. egg and spoon race, beanbag balancing race, sack race etc…)
100 days of sports, childhood unplugged, freedom to learn, Home Education, outdoors, PE, physical development, SEND, sports, Sports Challenge
Sports Day races
  • Table tennis
  • Tag rugby
  • Tennis
  • Volleyball

She invented her own sport too; a game she called ‘Round and Round Tennis’. She also acted out sports with her Sylvanian Families and played indoor versions of games; such as finger tennis, desktop table tennis and blow football.

We had a fantastic time doing this sports challenge and there are still plenty more ideas that Squiggle is keen to try out sometime in the future too! Such a great experience and very motivating!!!

What is your favourite sport? Let us know in the comments section!

*This is a sponsored post. 

Paradise Wildlife Park, Hertfordshire

There is plenty to do at Paradise Wildlife Park. In addition to the wide variety of animals, there are also various other areas such as soft play, paddling pool, sand pit, construction area, go carts, train, woodland walk, bouncy castles and several play areas, as well as shows, talks and feeds. There are also various ride-ons and games for additional cost. The price is reasonable in my opinion, in comparison to similar days out, especially given the amount of facilities included in the price and the high running costs of the zoo. However, there are often discounts available through groupon and similar sites, which makes it somewhat more affordable. More information about Paradise Wildlife Park can be found on their website https://www.pwpark.com

 

 

 

 

 

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Sports Challenge: Great British Tennis Weekend

Today we had a lovely time playing tennis (for free!) as part of the Great British Tennis Weekend. I found out about this event through social media and was pleased to discover that there were various opportunities to take part locally. Booking was easy via the online system and our family time session could also be easily amended if/ when needed. Equipment was also available to borrow during these sessions free of charge. This was also brilliant timing, as Squiggle was so excited to be able to include it in her #SportsChallenge

During our session at Verulamium park, the atmosphere was relaxed and friendly, and the instructor was very understanding of Squiggle’s needs. We had a great time! For more information, check out the Lawn Tennis Association website here

Sports Challenge: Athletics Track

Day 14: Today we went to the athletics track for the #SportsChallenge to do some running, races, relays, hurdles and long jump.

Squiggle really enjoyed use of the proper athletics track at Westminster Lodge.

Squiggle had fun trying long jump.

Sports Challenge: Football with Friends

Today we went to the local park to play football with some friends…
Football at Clarence park.


#SportsChallenge

Sports Challenge: Developing Skills

For the first few days of her Sports Challenge, Squiggle practised her skills for a different sport each day. Day one was football skills, second day tennis skills, day three she developed her hockey skills in the garden and today (day 4) she decided to shoot some hoops to practise her basketball skills…

Day two: Tennis skills at Aldenham SEN playground.

Day four: Basketball skills at Highfield Park.

Don’t forget to use hashtag #SportsChallenge to share your photos and updates!

Sports Challenge: Introduction

Inspired by 30 Days Wild, Squiggle decided to use the concept of themed activities to set herself a Sports Challenge; 100 days of sports. Throughout the summer and into autumn, she intends to something related to sports daily; practise sports skills, learn the rules of sports, play matches/ games, draw or write about sports, watch sports or even invent her own game.

If anyone else would like to join in with our challenge we would love to hear about it! Use hashtag #SportsChallenge (and tag me if you wish) to share your news and sports activities with us.

Squiggle practising football skills on day one of the challenge.

Dog Shows, Fetes and Fun Days

We have been to various fetes, fun days and dog shows this year. We really enjoy going to these events, not only as a fun family day out, but because they are educational and excellent social opportunities too.

For example, dog shows might seem like an odd place to hang out if (like us) you are not a dog owner but we find they are a brilliant way for Squiggle to initiate social interactions in a relaxed, spontaneous situation. She loves dogs but she knows not to stroke them without first checking with the owner, so she has been learning to judge the situation to decide if it seems a sensible time, then asks the owner’s permission before petting the dog. She sometimes then chats to the owner further, asking questions such as the name of the dog, breed, age etc… Great for building her confidence!

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Oaklands Doggy Day
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Dog event in Hemel Hempstead- June
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Donkey sanctuary fun day (dogs, horse grooming and inflatables)
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Dog show at a local school (play area, dog competitions, dog agility, games)
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Highfield Charity Dog Show- Sept
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Highfield fete (dog agility, assault course, inflatables)

Oaklands Summer Fete in July had a huge range of activities and events going on. This one was a big hit!

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Oaklands Summer Fete (morris dancing, funfair, inflatables, coordination/ fine motor skill games, bricklaying demonstration, birds of prey, chainsaw sculpture demonstration and loads more...)
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At Oaklands Summer Fete we also watched a horseball game, which was very unusual!

St Albans Country Show relocated at the last minute from Aldenham to Highfield Park. This was another lovely event with plenty to do.

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St Albans Country Show (animals)
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St Albans County Show (dog competitions)
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St Albans County Show (circus skills- Squiggle was SO excited!!!)
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St Albans Country Show (Squiggle LOVED this inflatable slide because there was a choice of which slide to go down!)

These events also inspire her, capture her imagination, bring out her creativeness and motivate her to write. Her are some of the activities she has chosen to do at home after our days out…

Squiggle designed her own dog activity worksheets.

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The first picture says 'Which dog do you think has the waggiest tail? Colours Dog or Circus Dog.' The second picture is a colouring in that says 'eyes red, nose yellow, ears pink, smile biro.'

She made herself an animal colouring in book.

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Title page 'Colour in the animals' Page 1 'golden retreiver...Cute' Page 2 'dalmation.... Milu Cute Littlesea' Page 3 'poodle...Oodle the Poodle' Page 4 'harbour seals' Page 5 'cat...Littlesea' Page 6 'tigre tiger...Rory' Page 7 'walrus (on ice)' Page 8 'bunny'

She acted out the dog agility.

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Dog agility

Squiggle’s book of dog breeds.

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Dog Breed Book. Page 1 'Dalmations' Page 2 'Poodles' Page 3 'Bull dogs. Playing games- lick bone, chase, fetch' Page 4 'Golden Retrievers' Page 5 'Huskies' Page 6 'Spaniels' (Below most dogs she has written 'with a tickly tummy' plus their name and/ or a description by them too).

Following Interests: Circus

So, as mentioned a while back, Squiggle developed a keen interest in circus skills after attending a workshop. Here are some of the circus themed activities she has done…

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