School is back in session for a lot of children in grade school, or at least within the next few weeks. This doesn’t need to signify the end of letting your kids exhaust some of that energy by playing sports, swimming, and hiking that you might have done over the summer.
It has been recommended that young kids aged 5-18 should spend at least an hour each day doing some type of physical activity. Physical activity helps children grow strong bones, maintain a healthy weight and discover the world around them. Best of all, it can be the source of some great fun.
You can help by encouraging your child to find activities they enjoy, and by building physical activity into family life. Most children love running around a park or playing in a playground.
One reason why physical activity in childhood is so important is because it helps your child to maintain a healthy weight. But this is not the only reason. Physical activity is a part of the way children discover the world and themselves. It helps to build strong muscles and healthy bones, as well as to improve self-confidence.
Below are some tips that you can try during the school year, to keep them outside enjoying nature, and less of watching T.V. or playing video games:
1. Walk or cycle to and from school with the kids as often as possible. Plus, you will even save a few bucks on gas!
2. Build a treehouse with them during the school holidays. Or, under supervision, encourage them to climb a tree or two.
3. Do an activity challenge together, such as working towards a fun run or a walk for charity.
4. Go roller skating, roller blading or skateboarding, indoor or out. In winter, go ice skating. Kids also love scooters.
5. Take the dog for a walk. If you don’t have one of your own, ask to borrow a neighbor’s or friend’s dog and take it for a walk.
6. Find time every weekend to do something active with your children. Play Frisbee or football in the park, go jump on the trampoline or try indoor rock climbing.
7. Support your kids in sports, clubs or any other activities that may interest them. Joining a weekend club sport ensures commitment to a team and regular exercise.
8. If you live near some National Parks, go visit them one of your open weekends. Hiking has plenty of benefits, and they aren’t all listed under health benefits. These National parks may have lists of events such as guided walks and children’s fun days, for fresh ideas for active days out.
9. Fly a kite. Find neighborhood friends to join once a week or so. Spend a day making your own kite with your kid. You’d be amazed at how creative you child can be!
10. Try a beach holiday. When they hit the sand, children find a multitude of ways to exercise, including games, swimming and plenty of running around. Or try an activity-based holiday.
Having your child stay active during the months surrounding summer will not only benefit their body development, but also sustain an active healthy mind for good grades in the classroom!