Keeping your kids healthy is a big job. Coupled with the demand of a new school year, it’s important to make exercise for kids a priority. As adults, we know how important it is to stay physically fit and active. When it comes to exercise for kids, research has shown time after time that physical activity stimulates the brain and boosts cognitive development. A recent study found that children who are more active “show greater attention, have faster cognitive processing speed and perform better on standardized academic tests than children who are less active.” Along with school, homework, and extracurriculars, physical activity needs to be a daily focus to help your child grow, develop, and succeed. Check out these 10 creative ways to help your child get active during the school year.
- Going on a family walk before or after dinner is a great activity to add to your evening routine. Make it a full family affair and bring the dog too!
- Turn on some of your favorite tunes, or your children’s tunes, and have a good old-fashioned dance party. Dancing won’t feel like a workout for kids!
- There are a ton of fun sports to play, especially in the fall. Whether it's soccer, football, baseball, basketball, or hockey, head into the back yard to play ball. Bonus: if you have enough family members make it a game! Winner doesn’t have to do the dishes!
- Once a week make a plan to walk or bike to school with your kids. The crisp fall mornings are a perfect time to enjoy the scenery and start your day together,
- Make chores fun and enjoyable. A few ways to bring some fun into chore time is to play music, put on the timer, pretend the dishes are animals while you’re cleaning them, the towels are ghosts and have to be folded, and anything your imagination can come up with, the possibilities are endless!
- Set up an indoor or outdoor obstacle course for your children. Try some of these DIY backyard courses like ninja training camp and pirates. Obstacle courses are a great way to test their balance and coordination all while having fun.
- Grab the roller skates or rollerblades and head out on a family skate. If the kids (or parents) are rusty, just make sure you’re in an area with a lot of soft grass. Bring some music and go disco!
- Head out to your local playground for some after school, pre-dinner, or post-dinner fun.
- Enroll in fun, physical programs outside of the home like, The Little Gym!
- Do an activity challenge with the whole family, like a plank challenge, or wall-sit challenge. Each night increase the time and reward yourself as a family!
It’s important to make physical activity a daily priority, especially during the school year when things may be more hectic. Healthy kids are happy kids! To learn more about The Little Gym programs and to find a location near you click here.