Guest Post By Michelle LaRowe from @eNannySource
Given the access kids have to iPads and handheld video games, it’s no secret that they’re becoming less and less active. But a sedentary lifestyle in childhood and lead to a sedentary lifestyle in adulthood and all the ailments that can come with it.
If you’re looking to increase your child’s activity level, consider these 5 tips:
Make Getting Active a Family Affair
It’s hard to motivate your son or daughter to go play outside when you’re plopped in front of the television or computer. Children naturally want to spend time with their parents and if your children need added physical activity, you’ll likely have to lead the way. A family bike ride to the store, a backyard game of dodge ball, or an evening stroll through the neighborhood can provide the perfect time to engage in physical activity while spending time with your loved ones. Make a point of making family time active time and you’ll naturally increase your child’s daily activity level.
Find Your Child’s Passion
While there is much to be said about signing children up for multiple sports and teams, let your child follow their heart when it comes to activities. If you have a child who loathes basketball but you can’t drag him off the putting green, encourage golf lessons instead of forcing him to work on his layups. Children who are doing something they love are more apt to stick with it through the years and engage in the activity for more often.
Send the Kids to Camp
Summer camp not only provides great opportunities for growth and development, but it also gives children the perfect opportunity to be active. Whether it’s a short week or an entire summer, camps all over the country provide outdoor activities that keep kids moving. Most summer camps provide opportunities for kids to swim, canoe, run, jump, and play for the entirety of their day. If enough fun is had, this lifestyle can even spill over into the rest of the year, setting the foundation for an active life.
Make Activities Fun and Interactive
Kids can get bored with the same old parks or outdoor games. Taking a family day trip to an event or location can shake up the normal routine. There are so many physical activities, such as ropes courses, fun runs, and outdoor hikes, which can be done as a family to increase your activity level. When you and your children are getting bored with the same old routine, consider taking part in a special event.
Schedule Outside Time
It’s always easier to accomplish a task when it’s planned ahead of time. Make activity a part of your child’s day by scheduling it in daily. Every day, set aside an hour for the kids to play outside. Let everyone in the family know that time outdoor is mandatory, unless there is bad weather, and encourage them to pick an activity of their choice to enjoy.
The biggest component in ensuring your child leads an active life is to engage in one yourself. Make a commitment to get outdoors and get moving with your children. Find sports and events that the kids are passionate about to ensure that they not only have an active lifestyle but have fun engaging in it.
With over 20 years of experience in the nanny world as an award-winning nanny, agency director, and parenting author, Michelle LaRowe is considered a leading industry expert. A mother herself, she loves to educate parents and nannies on the importance of quality in-home childcare. Find out more by visiting @eNannySource on Twitter.