The benefits of exercise are so well researched that if we can assist our children in staying active, choosing to be active and loving being active, we can say that we have given our children one of the greatest gifts of all.
21 ways to help your kids love being active
- Make exercise part of everyone’s daily routine. Especially yours
- Get outdoors – even when friends are over send the kids outside to play (on the trampoline, blow bubbles, throw the ball etc.)
- Take a ball wherever you go – all kids big and small, boys and girls love to play catch, kick the ball around , chase the ball and just run!
- Play chase and when you catch your child tickle them and listen to them giggle with delight. For older kids, add the element of a bit of friendly competition “Who’s going to get to the next tree first?”
- Walk together with a treat as an incentive (juice/ ice-cream etc.). At the end of a long walk, when we are look after our bodies well, a treat is okay!
- Play cricket – mums, dads and all the kids can get involved!
- Explore new places – walk across a bridge, wander through the local botanical garden, visit your zoo, feast your eyes by walking in and out of the local galleries. (Pick your child’s interest and explore some more),
- Treat them to your favourite experiences as a child – take them on the walks/ to the parks/to the fields / to the places you enjoyed most.
- Hike through your local forest (take a picnic and a warm drink for a midway stop).
- Go to the park – play on the swings, climb on the equipment.
- Walk your dog
- Go to the beach, jump in the waves
- Join your local club – play tennis, basketball, soccer, netball, cricket (all available for girls and boys)
- Encourage them to choose a team sport and go along with friends, it is always more fun if there is a social element. (Suggestion to try a school holidays sports camp with friends , you might find they love it and want to continue)
- Dance around the house to your favourite sounds. If your boys refuse to dance, get them to show you their “karate” moves.
- Find indoor activities for winter – roller skating, ice skating, indoor soccer, cricket, indoor rock climbing. Some towns have amazing kids play centres for kids, which will tire the little and the big ones out.
- Ride a bike, gets them on their scooters. (Skateboards if you are brave). Remember helmets keep everyone safe!
- Shoot basketball hoops at a park near you
- Help your child find the sport/ activity they love and then encourage them
- Join in with your child (if you can) so that it is fun for everyone and excellent quality time too
- Have fun, the more we enjoy something, the more we love to do it.
Is exercise enough to influence your child’s health or should we be doing more as a parent?