So, you’re ready to make some changes and focus on making sure your kids are active and learning skills. That’s amazing. Helping your child learn to love moving is a gift that lasts a lifetime.
But change can be hard, especially when you’re changing deeply ingrained habits.
So pick one of the lifestyle changes that feels most doable and start there:
1. Play outside
Maybe it’s making time for outdoor play. Even 15 minutes is a good way to begin and it doesn’t have to be a daily nature expedition (though those are great).
Try staying after school to play in the playground. What about playing in the driveway, backyard, or nearby park? Fun games like hopscotch, skipping, tightrope walk, and climbing trees are all easy ways to develop physical literacy. Let kids explore and take risks without direction.
Dress for the weather and you can enjoy outdoor play all year round.
2. Be active as a family
Enjoying active family time also doesn’t have to be anything overwhelming. Walks count. So do bike rides, throwing the ball together, and playing on the monkey bars. To quote active role model Kari Svenneby, from Active Kids Club, “you don’t have to be an athlete, just a playful parent.”
Find the things you love to do as a family and incorporate them into your regular routine. Try lots of different sports and activities with your kids. They’ll love learning right alongside you. Choose active holidays and make active family traditions. Create an active lifestyle legacy for your family.
3. Be an active role model
Perhaps the hardest change for most people is focusing on our own activity and role-modeling a healthy lifestyle for our kids. But it’s also one of the most essential because you are the most important role model your kids will ever have.
Prioritize your own well-being because you deserve it and your kids need to see you taking care of yourself. That’s how they’ll learn how to take care of themselves.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Set screen time limits for yourself and stick to them.
- If you’re not used to an active lifestyle start slowly and build on that.
- Don’t feel you have to commit to one way of being active. Try lots of different things and encourage your kids to do the same thing. Take lessons, try classes, walk around the block, do yoga, try a new sport, or choose active transportation more often.
- Try to get more rest.
- Find a friend who is willing to be active with you.
- Most importantly, have fun.
We know life is busy and sometimes overwhelming, but we also know that you’ve got this and we’re here to support you all the way. Make sure you sign up for our newsletter and we’ll send you tips, info, and encouragement every month.