Doctors and pediatricians are always reminding us that we need to look after our bodies both physically and mentally. For children, this has become even more important in recent years. With the growth of computer games, the internet, and social media, it can be easy for your kids to be sat down in front of a screen all day instead of getting outside and being active. That’s why it’s important to encourage your children to exercise their bodies and minds as often as possible; here are a few ideas to inspire you.
Have a Tech-Free Time
Although you want your children to use technology, there has to be a time and a place for it. To encourage them to do something else apart from using tech, enforce a tech-free period in the day when they cannot use their phones or computers. The length of time is up to you, but it needs to be long enough to encourage them to do something else. Try to give them some alternatives such as setting up some activities in the garden or arranging for some friends to come over for a game in the park. It is important however to tell their friends when they arrive about the tech-free time.
Make Activities Part of the Chores
Although washing the dishes or taking out the trash are good ways to get your kids to do chores, there are other things they can do that will also keep them active. You can make it a chore to wash the car once a week or to mow the lawn. They could also help you to walk the dog a couple of times a week. Anything that gets them up and active is a good idea, plus it helps out around the house.
Get Them Involved in a Project
If you have meant to paint the house for a long time, but never had the time, then this could be the perfect opportunity to get the kids involved. They can help you fetching paint and even painting the lower levels that don’t need a ladder. They can help you in the garden with clearing up and planting. You can even give them their own patch so that they can plant what they want to grow. It is also an area where other members of the family can help if the grandparents or uncles have things that need to be done, then you can suggest they ask your children if they want to help.
Make it a Family Activity
If you feel that the whole family could do with some exercise, then arrange some family activities you can do. Go for a cycle ride somewhere that has a natural beauty, so no-one gets bored with the view. Play some soccer, basketball or some party games in the garden; you can even have kids versus adults to add some competition. Another idea is to go swimming together, even taking them to a local water park is good, they will still be active and have fun at the same time. The activities don’t just have to be physical; you can also add in some board games you can all play together. Choose ones that you need to think about such as trivia games, that will stimulate their minds and help them to learn new facts.
Play Some Puzzle Games
If the weather is too bad for them to get outside, you can still encourage them to keep their minds active by doing some puzzle games. These could be something as simple as crosswords or word search, but you can also give them puzzle toys. You can also let them choose a puzzle that they can put together, if you have more than one child, you can get them one each and see who can finish theirs first. Not only will it keep them interested, but it will also prevent them from fighting over the one puzzle. It is also an activity that can involve smaller kids because you can get puzzles for varying ages.
Summer and Day Camps
During the holidays, many communities and schools set up camps for the kids to enjoy. They are often low cost and offer a range of activities for the kids to do. The summer ones tend to be residential and spread over a few days to about a week. However, there are also day camps for those that don’t want to stay over at a campsite. If there are no camps of that type local to you, then why not set one up with some local parents? That way, your kids will all be getting some exercise, and it’s also helping others in the local community.
Arrange a Group Event
There will likely be many parents in the same position as you, all trying to keep their kids occupied as well as encouraging them to be active. You could arrange some group events to get all the children together and take part. For the younger children, you could arrange a day at a playroom that has an indoor soft play area with ball pits and slides. You can each take a turn to supervise them, or all meet up and spend some social time together while they play. Another good idea for the older children is Escape Games; they are designed to allow a group of people to get together to solve clues. Some of them also involve role play, but the quest is to escape the room in the quickest time. It is a great way to get the kids working together and using their brains.
These are a few of the structured activities that you can use to help get your children more active. However, there are other ways including just letting them go out to play with friends or for the older kids, letting them take some sports equipment to the park. Just as long as its fun and it’s helping them to stay healthy.