We all know that kids are afraid of the word exercise, in fact, any phrase that implies they have to work is one that sends kids running across the room to the next available tv set. To get them interested it’s best not to mention the word “exercise” or the phrase “… it’s good for you” and best describe it as “play”.
The word play carries with it completely different connotations, play is fun, it’s active, it’s enjoyable and usually involves socialising with other children. Play is completely different to their understanding of exercise, however, it doesn’t differ from the idea of play at all, it is all incorporated into one. By asking your kids to play you’re encouraging a whole range of skills in addition to exercise. Not only do they learn to share and co-operate with others, they also learn to move different parts of their body and develop their vital motor skills that increase their balance, muscle growth and bone strength.
Ways to encourage this vital idea of play include a few basics that get you and your kids playing together. Go for a walk in nature together, head to your local reserve and walk around the beautiful surrounds. Have a picnic together and discover and learn about the surrounding flora and fauna, even the wildlife that inhabit the area. It’s a great way of incorporating a few learning activities into one. Similarly, setting up an obstacle course or DIY games outside can entertain for hours. Kids are pretty creative and they can create what they will out of any environment. One great idea is collecting some empty soda bottles and placing a little rice or sand in the bottom to keep them steady, then set up a bowling alley outside for the kids to play with.
Jump rope is also a great activity that encourages healthy movement through jumping, which is a great exercise in itself. It is also an activity that incorporates games, you can play those sing along games like when you were in school and get tricky using to ropes at once, it is a great way to develop their coordination and balance.
On that note, there are also fun venues that provide a fun and exciting atmosphere for your kids to play in. From fun centres to place like Bounce Inc where kids can jump from trampoline to trampoline, there really are so many easy and sneaky ways to get your kids exercising.
Sarah works in Marketing related to getting kids active.