Children should be receiving at least one hour of physical activity per day. That is an absolute minimum. When I was a kid, we spent so much time running around outside it was never a question of just one hour, but now, with phones, TV’s and iPads, getting a child to play outdoors can be a challenge.
So how can we get kids more active in their everyday lives? Having raised 4 children of my own, I can recommend some of my best tips.
Learn What they are really interested in
You might be a hardcore baseball fan with fantasies of your child becoming the next big star, but please do not let your projections define their future. They may visit baseball merely to please you, however, they won’t enjoy it if inside their true passion is for tennis, for example. Never force your child to do something that they truly do not want to do.
I encourage you to try all the various sports you will find, even the ones that may seem strange to you. Listen to your child and listen to them, see what they respond to best and positively encourage them to continue with it.
This is an almost sure way to receive your child to give up basketball entirely. Nobody likes being criticised.
Teach by being
It’s no surprise that kids look up to their parents. If you tell them,”you need to exercise daily” but do not do it yourself, they may not be as eager to obey you. They’ll enjoy spending time with you and it is going to somehow feel more natural to them to be busy if you’re active too.
If you have a dog in the house, see if you can get your kid to be the main dog-walker of the home. Make them feel important, stating that it is”their” dog or that they do that job the best. Half an hour in the morning and half an hour in the evening – a great way to get them moving.
If you don’t have a dog, encourage your child to walk or cycle everywhere. Not only is it better for the environment, something which I’m quite passionate about, but it will also keep them fit.
Build a tree house
If you have a garden in your house, why not build a tree house? Children love making things, and when it’s done, they will stay active by climbing it. If you can’t have a tree house, why don’t you hang some ropes on the thicker branches and encourage your kids to climb them? You can even make it into a game, such as treasure hunting, with one of the clues being on top of that rope.
Do something different
Hardly any people like routine, especially kids who can’t sit still for very long. If you make them do ballet everyday for 6 months, then they may get bored and lose interest. However, if you change things every now and then, they will never know what’s coming next and will get excited by new adventures.
Maybe you could try new things every other weekend, like go surfing, rock climbing, a tree-top adventure park, trampolining, horse riding – whatever you can think of. Make it a fun day out. Your kids are going to see new places and stay active in the procedure.
Did you know that lots of gyms now have classes for kids? They’re done in game-form, such as jumping around obstacles. This allows kids to have fun since they don’t see it as a chore, and get fit at the same time. Not only that, but if you go with them to do your own thing, you’ll teach by example that going to the gym is a good thing to do.