The summer months can act as a sort of make-or-break when it comes to children’s physical activity. Without the routine of getting up and going to school, kids can get in the habit of sleeping in, lazing around the house, and spending too much time in front of a screen.
But on the other hand, warm weather and free time can also mean days outside, running around, playing games, and exploring.
As this WebMD article tells us, parents have a lot of influence over which of these directions their kids choose to go. Following these four steps can help keep your child active this summer.
- Play active games. Children should be getting 60 minutes of physical activity every day. If it’s difficult to do a full hour all at once, break up your activity into shorter sessions. Some fun activities that don’t require a lot of time include hopscotch, roughhousing, catch with a ball, or even a walk around the neighbourhood. For other fun activity ideas, check out our activities page or download our KidActive app.
- Motivate your child in your own way. It doesn’t matter how you support your child’s physical activity; what matters is that your child knows how much you value and support his active pastimes. If you sign him up for sports, drive him to practices and games, and cheer for him on the sideline. Make sure your kid is wearing appropriate clothes for her endeavours so she can get maximum enjoyment. Also, encourage family outings.
- Replace screen time with active time. The screen can occupy many hours that your child could spend being active this summer. Moderating screen time is one way to avoid this, but also plan family activities that can replace TV watching.
- Be a role model for physical activity. Regardless of your current level of physical activity, it’s never too late to make an improvement. Especially if it’s for the benefit of your child. The more your child sees you being active, the more likely she is to embrace that lifestyle as well.