How many times have your kids complained that they’re bored? What about how hard their life is? It might make you wonder how they keep going sometimes, doesn’t it? The fact is, kids who are active at a young age continue to lead active lives as they grow older. It can be hard to encourage kids to get active, be active, and stay active, but it leads to a lifetime of positive growth. Below, we’ve compiled a list of seven great ways to get (and keep) your kids moving:
1. Make It Fun
Of course, the most simplistic way to get your kids moving is to make any activity fun. This is sometimes easier said than done, but this method is even pretty foolproof for adults. On a hot summer day, a water gun fight can be a blast. On a cold day, maybe encourage a snowball fight. Even time spent playing at the park is time not spent sitting on the couch, and it’s a great way to get your kids moving. Making it fun does not have to mean making it easy, but, a dare is amazing motivation with kids. We recommend to try out rock climbing for something fun and challenging!
2. Let Them Decide
Have you ever given your child options for what to eat for dinner or when getting dressed? Having the freedom to choose usually makes anything infinitely more exciting. You can guide your kids to make the choices that are healthy for them, but if you let them make the ultimate decision whether you will go swimming or go for a run today, they will feel empowered. When they decide, their heart will likely be in it, and they will be ready to go!
3. Move as a Family
Being active together is a great opportunity to bond with your kids, so make an effort to move as a family. A simple game of catch in the backyard is a wonderful time to catch up on the latest happenings at school while simultaneously burning some calories.
4. Lead by Example
If you want to try moving as a family, you may need to start with leading by example. When your kids have a positive, healthy role model, they see the value in being active. You may not even need to explain to them why you feel it’s a priority. They will likely just see that it is important!
5. Limit Screen Time
We all know that we should limit the amount of time kids spend using tablets, video games, and televisions, but that is so much easier said than done. When you set a hard and fast limit on the amount of time your kids use screens, they will be forced to find another activity when the time runs out. More often than not, we find that kids head outside as soon as their time is up, and they don’t look back. Once we break the habit of using screens as much, it is easier for kids to walk away.
6. Bring a Friend
Something that transcends all age groups is the idea that anything is better with a friend, so encourage your kids to pick up a fun sport that two or more people can play. Tennis and dodgeball are two great opportunities to get out and play with a friend. Even a round of miniature golf can be a rousing afternoon spent outdoors!
7. Positive Feedback
It is amazing what a little positive feedback can do for someone’s temperament, attitude, and drive. Remember how much you love receiving positive feedback, and pour that into your kids. When they hear how great they’re doing at something, they will want to try harder and give more. Who doesn’t love a little pat on the back?
It isn’t always easy to be a parent, and one of the toughest tasks in parenting is making sure that your kids are healthy. If we start early and persistently invest time in keeping our kids active, it will pay off in the long run by building strong muscles and bones, decreasing the risk of obesity and diabetes, and helping kids stay positive and sleep well. Make it a habit to help your kids be active, and they will eventually make choices on their own.