Remember getting home from school or waking up on the weekend ready to go outside and play – Of course you do, it was one of the best things about being a kid! Unfortunately, many children today will go straight to a screen – the TV, smartphone, tablet or computer.
While there is nothing wrong with a little screen time, striking the right balance between sedentary activities and active play is crucial to a child’s development.
Obesity is becoming more prevalent in younger children, so in an effort to help get your children outdoors and active, here are some ideas to get them healthy, happy and playing!
Weekend sport is a fantastic answer to get kids involved in physical exercise. What makes playing sport such a good choice is the large range of different possibilities available. From soccer and basketball all the way to tee-ball, there is a sport for every child, suiting their strengths.
Sport also provides opportunities for social engagement, another important development area for younger children. Playing in a team is great for self-esteem and to provide a sense of belonging.
Also, keep in mind that sport can include a wide selection of activities, such as swimming, gymnastics or athletics.
Bikes have been popular with kids for generations, and for good reason. Not only can they provide hours of fun and entertainment, but cycling has also been proven to be one of the best ways to stay fit and healthy. Riding with a bunch of friends of with siblings also offers social benefits, as kids explore the neighbourhood or hit dirt tracks.
Cycling is one activity that the whole family can get involved in. A smart way to encourage your kids outdoors is to plan a day trip out, where everyone can use their bikes to ride to the destination. Speaking of travelling to a destination, buying a bike for your kid is a great investment as they get older, allowing them a free mode of transportation to school, friends or the shops.
Backyard Play Equipment
One way to really entice your kids into active play is by purchasing them backyard play equipment. Whether you’re looking at wooden swing sets, monkey bars, climbing frames or trampolines, if you have the backyard space, play equipment is a smart investment.
Unlike outdoor play equipment of the past, most modern equipment includes a range of safety features to ensure fun stays safe. For example, trampolines now often include safety netting around the edges of the frame, protecting the jumper from falling through exposed springs.
Children’s swing set and playsets also provide a strong sensory experience, as well as working on core muscle strength, balance and coordination.
Martial Arts is an excellent after-school activity that involves more than just a physical exercise component. It’s a wonderful way for kids to build their self-esteem and confidence, as they continue to learn and master new skills and progress through grading.
This grading itself provides a message of self-improvement and a goal to work towards, with most Martial Arts for kids rewarding discipline with new belt colours.
It also promotes a safe environment for your child to get physical under the supervision of a teacher. But while rolling, kicking and wrestling is a lot of fun, Martial Arts is often about conflict resolution and teaching that it’s best to de-escalate a situation rather than fighting.