Adults aren’t the only ones who need regular exercise. Children need to be physically active, too. Exercise for young kids isn’t limited to just doing routine movements and organized activities. Parents, here’s how to motivate your kids to get physically active.
Exercise means many things. It can be participating in a dance class, joining a sport, running around the park or riding bikes around the neighbourhood. Because regular exercise can benefit your child in many different ways, it’s imperative that they spend ample time being active. However, today’s trends are now different.
Ways to Motivate Kids to Get Physically Active
Children would rather spend time indoors to watch videos on YouTube or play their favorite video games. So how do we encourage our kids to get physically active? Here are some tips that might come in handy.
Make physical activity part of their day
Before encouraging your child to engage in an active lifestyle, one of the first things you need to evaluate is the amount of time they spend on physical activities. Does your child spend at least an hour a day being physically active? Do they walk to and from school? Or do they really spend the majority of their free time indoors?
If you know that your little one has their eyes glued to screens most of the time, it’s time to make fitness a part of their day. For example, you can create a family routine that involves some exercise such as a daily afternoon walk to the park after school.
Think of an activity they enjoy
Is your little one interested in any sports or fun physical activities? Help them discover an activity they can find exciting. Whether it’s as simple as playing hide and seek or a ball game, the important thing is they find joy whenever they participate in that activity. The more they enjoy, the more likely they will continue it.
Turn screen time into active time
When the weather doesn’t allow for outdoor play, don’t worry. There are plenty of interactive video games that require physical activities. Some examples are baseball, bowling and tennis. You can also make use of dance videos to encourage physically active screen time.
Buy them toys that encourage physical activity
What kind of toys does your child usually enjoy playing with? Do they have plenty of toys that encourage them to be physically active?
When you go toy-shopping, it’s a great idea to include active toys in your shopping list. Be sure to include balls, table tennis, basketball hoops, frisbee, jump ropes and a lot more!
Be a role model
While outdoor play presents endless opportunities for children to engage in an active lifestyle, parents should make it a point to let their children understand its importance. As you enjoy your quality time and bonding over some fun outdoor activities, it’s a great idea to share with your child why the activity is good for their body and health. Also, make sure that you serve as a good role model.
Find a good exercise you can squeeze in the middle of your busy day. When your child sees that you make time for physical activities and taking care of yourself, chances are they will model your behavior.
Limit screen time
Let’s admit it. It’s a lot easier for parents to leave their children to technology and let the internet and mobile devices entertain them. This is a very common scenario among families with both parents working. Not only is this setup unhealthy, but it also deprives children of the quality time and attention they deserve from their parents.
Instead of allowing your child to spend most of their free time on the TV and mobile devices, be sure to limit their screen time to no more than an hour or two each day. Then, utilize the rest of their free time for physical activities.
The importance of exercise for children can’t be emphasized any further. Not only does it help their physical growth, but it also plays a vital role in their overall health and development.
Here at Cornerstone Learning Center, our goal is to provide children with activities that meet their specific needs and give them a fun learning experience. Please feel free to give us a call for more information.