Would your child rather watch television and play video games all day than go for a walk or play outside?
If so, you’re not the only parent dealing with an inactive child. Across the country, children are battling obesity and inactivity at an alarming rate.
And even more so now that we are under a social lock-down. Your child no longer has access to the exercise and physical activity they would have participated in at school or while hanging out with their friends.
Now, more than ever, it’s important to focus on our children’s physical health. Children who remain physically inactive are at a very high risk of becoming obese and facing serious health problems in their future.
How to Keep Your Child Active
I’ll be the first to admit that I am not a “Go! Go! Go!” type of parent. In fact, most days I’d rather sit on the couch and play those video games with my child.
Just as I need to be motivated to get up and move (which usually involves standing on a scale), children need to be motivated as well.
And the best way to motivate a child is with fun!
Adding fun into the mix not only will help your child become healthier but they will enjoy the process as well. Hopefully, they will begin to gravitate towards physical activities instead of phones and television screens.
Here are some ideas for fun and physical activities your child will enjoy inside and outside the home:
While it may not be possible to get outside each and every day, you can certainly encourage physical activity inside as well.
Host a dance party playing your child’s favorite tunes. You can even use a video messaging service such as Skype to include your little one’s friends and relatives!
My daughter and I enjoy using YouTube to find instructional dance videos. We love learning new steps!
Weird Outdoor Games
Sure, you can grab a mitt and ball and play some catch, or you can think outside the box to make typical outdoor games a little bit weirder – and a lot more fun!
You can use a tennis racket and inflatable beach ball to play baseball or use balloons to play volleyball – or design an obstacle course using random materials around the yard.
Even the simplest changes will make a game seem that much more fun.
Not all physical activity with your child has to involve cardio and endless movement. There are many physical hobbies you can introduce your kiddo to that will help to keep them active and healthy.
For instance, this is a wonderful time of year to begin gardening (and what kid doesn’t love digging in the dirt?). Even if you don’t have space outside to plant a garden, you can create an indoor garden of succulents and herbs.
If you have the tools, you can introduce your child to carpentry and teach them how to build simple projects such as birdhouses and feeders.
Invest in Outdoor Toys
As a single parent staying at home with her daughter, I understand that you mentally cannot prompt your little one through physical activities all day. Sometimes you need a break, too.
So there’s nothing wrong with investing in some outdoor toys for your child. Swing sets and slides are simple pieces of equipment but will provide your child with hours of safe and physical fun.
You Are Your Child’s Role Model
Your child looks to you for guidance and motivation. Use your powers of influence to encourage an active and healthy lifestyle.
I’m sure you’ll find, as I have, that the prospect of having fun outdoors will become far more appealing to your child than video games and television.
How are you keeping the kiddos active during social isolation? Let us know in the comments!