Making sure kids get the amount of physical activity they need shouldn’t be all work and no play. It should be mostly play! The secret is to find activities they enjoy and to build activity into their everyday routine.
- Keep activity fun. Try tag and hide-and-seek inside or outside.
- Find something active that your child likes to do, and encourage it. Not every child will enjoy playing a sport or taking dance lessons. If your child has tried an activity and didn’t enjoy it, let it go. Instead, try to find another active pastime they’ll get excited about.
- Set limits on screen time (TV, video games, computers and other devices). Replace screen time with something active. But when the weather is gloomy and kids are stuck indoors, encourage active video games that include movement or dancing.
- Build exercise into other things your child likes to do. For example, your heavy reader can get to the library by walking or cycling.
- Start a “walking school bus” in your neighbourhood rather than getting in the car each morning. Adults can take turns walking a group of children to and from school. Mom, Dad, kids (and the environment) win!
- Have your pre-teen or teen volunteer with an activity program at the local community centre. This is also an easy way to increase their confidence and experience too.