When children are young, they are always on the go. I know that I’m constantly chasing my youngest around as he runs and climbs! But, as children get older, the call of computers or games consoles can make them more reluctant to keep active.
The first thing I will say is my children love a trip to the park. It might sound obvious but a trip to the swings is a highlight to our week. (Well, for the younger children and I anyway!) It may be the anticipation of seeing their friends, or the play equipment either way they’re getting moving!
We love a family walk, although this tends to be a weekend activity. But it is a great way to burn off some energy. I usually try to remember a flask of hot chocolate and biscuits for the end of the walk to sweeten the deal!
If you have a reluctant walker (there is always one reluctant walker in our house!) consider buying a scooter or skates. Scooting is a great way to keep everyone in the family active – scooters aren’t just for kids! I have a grown-up scooter on my wish list this year. Scooters are ideal for us, as they’re compact to store and transport.
A friend of mine used to do what she referred to as the bin bag dance with her children every week. It was where she would put on the music and for 10 minutes everyone would have to tidy or clean. The music kept everyone moving and they all knew after roughly 2 songs they would be done. I use this tactic with my own children to encourage them to tidy their rooms – although I have to be honest it doesn’t always work!
We all enjoy dance games on the games console, which while it is using the console is atleast keeping us all moving!
We have looked into street dance classes, but none local to us work with our timetable. But I am hoping that will alter next year!
Learn a sport.
Learning to play sport is the easiest way to keep active. There are great local schemes to get children into sports, which don’t cost a fortune. My children are involved with a few sports including football and athletics. Both of them have tennis lessons which are cheaper than I had expected. It’s also really sociable for them.
In the summer we swam almost daily at our local pool. They also did summer swim lessons as they were really good value. Learning to swim I think is really important, and swimming is a great fun way to keep active. It’s worth looking at local swimming pool offers on regular swims.
My eldest son is also learning to play badminton. He is enjoying playing badminton as he says it is fast paced! Badminton equipment is all new to me though, so I’m having to research what he needs!
Keeping active is well known to be important for physical and mental health. I also think it’s a great way to spend time together as a family and make new friends too.