This is a collaborative post.
Kids have so much energy and endurance that they can make any professional athlete jealous. In fact, scientific research has proven that healthy children have higher energy levels than trained endurance athletes. But as a parent, that doesn’t really come as a surprise. You don’t need to know the science or the stats to figure out that children are restless and relentless little creatures. You’ve done your own research by watching your kids run around all day and making you feel exhausted just by looking at them, and you’ve probably reached the same conclusion.
Therefore, when it comes to keeping kids active, some may think it’s the easiest task in the world. After all, children are naturally prone to engage in all sorts of games that involve different types of movement, like playing hide and seek or going up and down on climbing frames. However, most kids these days get way less physical activity than recommended, which is at least 60 minutes per day, due to a series of factors such as schoolwork, parents’ busy schedules, the prevalence of digital technologies that distract them and keep them trapped in front of a screen, even when they’re outside, and so on.
Fortunately, you’re the parent, and you get to set the rules, so you have the power to encourage your kids to stay psychically active and get an adequate amount of exercise every day. Use the following tips as a source of inspiration, throw a bit of creativity in the mix, and you’ve found the recipe for success.
Go for a walk
One of the easiest and most effective ways to boost your kid’s physical activity is to go for regular walks every day. You don’t have to wander for miles or do intense physical exercise. A few rounds around the block or a trip to the nearby park where they can roam around freely is enough to do the trick. For kids, every opportunity to get out of the house and explore their surroundings can feel like an adventure, so all you have to do is accompany and supervise them as they’re having fun.
Set up a treasure hunt
Speaking of adventures, if you’re having a hard time getting your kids away from their screens and making them go outside to play, setting up an outdoor treasure hunt can provide the solution to your problem. After all, a real-life quest is infinitely more exciting than any digital game they could play.
You can even tie in the two worlds by searching for Pokémons, but you can also take the traditional route and set up a classic treasure hunt where they have to follow indications on a map to discover little treasures around the house and garden. We guarantee this is going to be extremely fun and satisfying for your children and keep them busy for quite a while.
Build a playground in your backyard
It’s understandable that you may not always have the time or the disposition to plan elaborate games for your kids or play with them. Luckily, you don’t have to. There are other ways to get your kids to play outside that involve minimal effort on your part. You can create a home playground in your backyard so you can keep the kids active and entertained without them having to go too far away from home.
Having your own playground is like building a private fitness centre for your little ones. All you have to do is bring in some basic playground equipment – a climbing frame, a slide, some swing sets from Fatmoose, a few tubes and a sandbox for younger kids – and you can be sure they’ll never want to go back inside. Apart from giving your children the opportunity to move around and explore freely, you also get the added benefit of being able to supervise them at all times.
Not every day is a good day for playing outside. So, what are you going to do when the bad weather forces you and your little ones to stay inside? You can turn the music on, throw an impromptu party and start dancing. Children love to dance for the same reasons adults do – it’s entertaining, exciting and allows them to express themselves with no constraints.
Dancing is also a great form of exercise as it helps strengthen the muscles and improves flexibility, so your kids will be getting the exercise they need to develop healthily while also having tons of fun. You can also play dance-based games like who has the quirkiest moves to make things even more interesting.
Competitions are a great way for children to develop their focus, improve their natural skills and boost self-confidence. They’re also extremely effective at getting kids involved in active play. And the best part about it is that they don’t even have to compete against someone else. You can time them and challenge them to finish a certain activity faster, or you can play minigolf and get the whole family to join in. Even if they’re taking part in a competition, it’s best to keep things light and help them understand it’s not about winning but about enjoying the experience.
Go on a bike ride
If your kid doesn’t know how to ride a bike, now it’s a great time to teach them. When they become skilled and old enough, and if conditions allow, they can even ride their bikes to school. Children love the freedom of movement that comes with riding a bike, and chances are this will become one of their favourite pastimes if you encourage them to cycle from an early age. So, they’ll be getting a good workout and also gain a bit of independence at the same time.
There are plenty of other activities that can help your kids stay active and healthy, many of which can be enjoyed by the whole family. So, feel free to explore, get creative and keep moving.