A smiling girl walks her golden retriever on a leash in a park.

6 ways dogs and kids can have fun moving together

Let’s take a moment to appreciate dogs.

Man’s best friend is a friend to all, regardless of whether you own one or know one. For kids in particular, dogs can be a source of confidence as they learn to move and develop their physical literacy.

No dog at home? No problem. Odds are a friend at the playground or neighbourhood has a playful puppy begging to go for a w-a-l-k. Here are six pet-friendly ways to move together:

1. Fetch

This classic game of toss and return is perfect for developing kids’ overhand throw with a variety of objects: tennis ball, Frisbee, newspaper, you name it! You can also alternate throwing the ball with either hands. Variety is the spice of fetch and life.

2. Walk

A daily necessity for a dog can become routine for a family. Keep it interesting by exploring different outdoor spaces together as it can help kids connect with nature and tackle different terrains.

3. Run

It’s all fun and games when you run with a dog. Kids will have a ball chasing, racing, and running alongside a four-legged friend. Added challenge: play Follow the Leader in an off-leash area.

4. Swim

Dogs who don’t mind making a splash can be a great companion to kids in the water. Whether jumping off or wading in, swimming with a pet develops aquatic literacy.

5. Explore

Being a “dog family” means taking care of a pet through all seasons and all weather. To do that, children and adults have to be confident and balanced on ice, in mud, and through snow. Having a dog can help kids gain that confidence, one walk at a time.

6. Play

A puppy is the perfect partner for developing physical literacy. Their unpredictable nature encourages kids to be creative and try new skills. Bonus: free puppy kisses as a reward!

There are 101 ways a dog can help develop physical literacy. What’s your family’s favourite way to play with pups?

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