Samantha Olivier is here today to guest host and share some great tips on getting kids off the couch and back to active. Check out these great ideas.
With all the perks of the digital age, one of the greatest challenges is to inspire kids to be more active and playful in that good old-fashioned way. Spending time outside, running around, and developing their curiosity has all taken a back seat to the increasing computer and smart phone craze.
Although technology does provide your kids with versatile entertainment, their health and wellbeing suffer in the long-run, due to hours of sitting down. Here’s a list of sure-fire ways to get your kids to fall in love with the hustle and bustle of the outdoors and other creative activities!
With their short attention spans and numerous distractions lurking around every corner, kids are more likely to respond to various types of activities. Although daily chores like walking your dog or caring for your other pets can sometimes be all they need, consider spending more time with them, walking them to school on sunny days, take them bowling or for a paintball session, and they will start looking forward to your other ideas.
To make it extra fun, ask the kids to make their own suggestions. You can even make a simple suggestion box, and let them offer their input and share their ideas on how they would like to spend their time. Maybe they’d like to try fishing, or start their own leaf collection.
Take them down Memory Lane
They already have plenty of video games at their disposal, but few offer inspiration for real-life adventures. To give them a taste of your own childhood fun through the familiar lens of technology, show them something that has inspired you to tackle a new skill.
Remember Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2, and your unstoppable urge to learn those complicated stunts? Half an hour of playing and they will be begging you to get them custom-made cruiser skateboards to bust out their own moves and tricks in the local park. An added perk any parent appreciates is the chance for your kids to develop their balance, coordination and get stronger and more resilient.
Encourage Uninstructed Play
Sometimes the simplest activity is the best solution, and uninstructed play is a prime example of that. Get them out the door and into your backyard or a local park and just let them do their thing. In addition to boosting their immunity and creative thinking, this allows for improved social development and communication.
Inviting their friends can have them outside and active for hours on end, and letting them play with some of their favourite toys and gadgets outside will only reinforce their desire to spend time being active. In case you have a dog, this is a perfect chance for them to bond and get exhausted in the healthiest possible way.
Make Chores Fun
Cooking, washing the dishes and cleaning your house can become an incredibly fun activity if you play some music or turn it into a game or a competition. Kids love to make up rules, so let them think of forbidden moves, words or specific instructions that must follow certain lyrics of their favourite tunes. For example, if anyone says the word “like”, they need to imitate a monkey. This might end up turning into a zoo, but you will get your home clean and the kids enjoying themselves away from the TV.
For the most troublesome of youngsters, you can even think of a creative reward system for a job well done, such as an extra hour of playtime with their friends the next time they come over, or taking them for a scoop of their favourite ice-cream. As long as it’s good for them and lets them have more fun, they will most likely respond positively.
These are just some of the many creative ways to encourage your kids to be more active, and discover new ways to have fun. Childhood is the perfect time for kids to develop their interests and hobbies, so make it your mission to help them explore their preferences and shape their minds for future adventures.