In a world with smartphones, tablets, and children’s TV, getting your kids moving can be challenging at the best of time. But we all know how important physical exercise is for the development of young bodies and minds. So today, we’ve put together a list of ways you can get kids moving, turning a boring morning or afternoon into a heap of fun.
Ways to Get Kids Moving
It’s no surprise that children love to dance. It makes for a fantastic indoor activity that not only works out the entire body but allows kids to express themselves freely. Play their favorite music and join in on the fun – you can even take turns with them in mirroring different dance moves.
If there are few participants, you have a friendly dance-off competition. You can further mix it up by having them dance by only moving a body part that you call out, such as knees or arms. Allow the winner to choose the next few songs as a reward. Another major benefit of dancing is that it suits kids of all ages. Even toddlers can join in by clapping or bopping along to the beat.
Bikes and Scooters
Most of us will have fond memories of riding a bike with a group of friends, exploring new places around the local neighbourhood. Kids bikes are one of the best ways to promote active play, which is why they have remained extremely popular.
There are several different types of kids bikes as well. For example, a BMX bike is better suited for dirt tracks or concrete at the skate park, allowing for small jumps. On the other hand, a balance bike is suited for children who are too young to use pedals.
Speaking of young children, if a bike may be too challenging, scooters can be the perfect compromise. They are much easier to use (especially 3-wheel variants), but still allow young ones to keep up with older bike riding kids.
With both bikes and scooters, make certain that a helmet is always worn. Other protective gear such as knee and elbow pads could also help protect against scrapes, and make children feel more confident. Also ensure that older kids who may be riding unsupervised, understand basic road rules.
Sometimes overlooked, weekend sports can be the ideal solution to incentivize children to get outdoors and active. While it takes a little more work on your behalf, there is a range of benefits that makes sport an enticing option.
One of the largest benefits is the range of choices available when it comes to kid’s sport. From football to soccer, to tee-ball to basketball, there is a sport for every child and every age. Play each one with your child and see which one clicks wit them. Don’t forget that there are also non-traditional sports that may be worth trying such as swimming or a type of martial arts.
Not only does sport provide wonderful exercise opportunities, it also provides a strong social aspect to your child’s life. Playing in a team is great for their communication skills and self-esteem as they contribute to a winning culture.
Is there more than one child that needs to get some sun? Why not get them involved in some backyard games they can play, rather than sitting in front of a screen. There are many games available that will get kids moving. They can be very simple such as Follow the Leader, to games that require a little planning on your behalf such as a scavenger hunt.
If you have the yard space and enough participants, classic outdoor games such as Tag can be a big hit. Add a tennis ball or frisbee and allow kids to play a game of back and forth. Chalk on driveways can create handball courts or a Hopscotch grid.
On hot days, hoses, buckets sprinklers can be an easy way to cool down while having a heap of fun. Buy some water guns and balloons and create teams for a good old fashion water fight.
Get Creative Indoors
Do the kids need to stay indoors because of rain or other reasons? Don’t fret, there are ways to stay active while inside the house. Allow your children to get creative indoors by building a pillow fort. Let them find the blankets and pillows and help them construct their own little hideout indoors.
If you have the time you can create an at-home obstacle course. Use furniture in a combination with cardboard delivery boxes and pillows to create a course kids need to navigate. A way to make this more challenging is to pretend the floor is lava and have kids jump from one object to the other to make it the endpoint.
Get children to help you clean the house. They will likely love being involved as they help you wash and wipe. You can give them an old sock or another piece of clothing and give them a focus area to remove dust.
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