All over the world, no matter what the season is, toddlers are mostly spending their time strapped on car seats or plopped in front of the TV as we—their parents—get on with our busy schedules. This doesn’t help in their developing motor skills, nor does it help in strengthening their heart, muscles and lungs. This might also set them up for an inactive lifestyle and even obesity as adults, which is widespread in the US.
To prevent the troubles brought on by an inactive lifestyle, we have to keep our kids active throughout the year, no matter what their ages are. A good habit of physical activity will last a lifetime, and it’s never too early to start.
However, how can we help our children to get their required hour/s of daily physical activity if we can’t enroll them to a gym for the reason that we are busy? According to Stephen Virgilio, author of Active Start for Healthy Kids, the answer is to rethink our idea of exercise. This is why in this article, we have collected ideas and prepared for you a list of activities we can engage our kids to year-long, even if we can’t enroll them to a gym. We can also get a bonus of family bonding out of this!
For this kind of season where we can’t stay out of the house for a long time, we can have our kids help us in clearing the snow accumulated in the yard, porch, or walkway. To make this fun, we can let the younger ones compete in making the most numbers of snow angels, while the elders toss a snow ball or two at each other. As a family, everyone can help in building a snowman!
If it’s too cold outside to go out and play, we can initiate a sports night once a week. This is where each family member picks a card from a fitness deck where family-friendly exercises are written and then perform them. This idea is not just good for the winter too, but whole year round!
During this season, especially if it’s not raining, we can walk down our streets before or after dinner. It doesn’t matter where our direction is, as long as we get to walk at least five times a week. If the kids are too young to walk on their own, we can let them alternate between walking and sitting on the stroller throughout the duration of the walk.
Aside from walking with just our family, we can have our kids walk the dog too. To make it more fun, we can incorporate other activities into this as well, like counting the cars having a certain color or seeing who finds a cat first!
Later in the spring, where there is no more snow, we can team up for gardening. Since kids are good at digging up dirt we might as well use it to help us plant new bulbs. Research shows that gardening is as good as weight training when it comes to preventing osteoporosis.
It is during this season where everyone expects to, and has time to, party. We should take advantage of this by cranking up the music to boogie down. Make sure the kids and their friends are included; also have some neighbors or family friends to come over.
After each party, of course the mess is going to be a whole lot of trouble to clean too. This is another chance to make our kids active. Pretend the dirt is a creature that is invading the Earth and the younger kids need to keep them locked up into the trash bins so they couldn’t do evil things!
Aside from this, the beach is also a good place to be. Swimming is a good exercise especially for the heart and lungs. Beach volleyball is also a very good idea. So, don’t pass up the chance to go out in this season!
If autumn brings down leaves in our area, we can make a game of catching them on a windy day, and the one who can catch the most number of leaves of a certain color can be given a simple award, like watching TV one hour more than usual. We can also let them help us into raking the leaves into piles with their own kid-sized rake, all while having fun. They can jump on the piles or take turns covering one another in leaves, just make sure that once the task is finished; all leaves are cleanly collected in trash bags!
The ideas listed above are just a few of what we came up with, and some of them don’t even have to be strictly just on the specified season but can be done on other seasons as well. To get updated on all important physical health information, follow the posts on our Facebook Page. Looking for a fun and exciting way to learn gymnastics? Then come and enroll at Bianka Panova Sport and Art Academy today 🙂 Come and learn gymnastics for kids with us!