Tips to Get Kids Playing

School Age

Being active at least one hour a day is what it takes to build strong kids. Their young bodies were made to move, but that big comfy couch can be awfully tempting. So we’re arming parents with the motivational tips and tools you need to get kids playing!

Stop exercising

As adults, we talk about getting exercise and working out. But kids don't want to "work out" ... they want to play! So swap words like "exercise" for "playtime" and "be active," then make sure fun activities follow.

Encourage them

Explain to your kids that moving more helps them in so many ways ... getting better grades, improving sports performance and just feeling better and happier. Encourage activities that are both fun and physical, like hopscotch, jumping rope, tag or hide and seek.

Show them how it’s done

Kids are great imitators, and they’re more likely to be active when their parents are. So step it up and be a great role model!

Break it up

Sometimes getting active for an hour a day can sound like a lot for kids. Make it easier by breaking up the 60 minutes into smaller bursts of play throughout the day

How about a 20-minute family walk … or 20 minutes shooting hoops outside ... or 15 minutes playing tag? Just because you don't have a whole 60 minutes to spend doesn't mean you can’t do something. Being a little active is always better than sitting around.

Have fun

Finding an activity your child enjoys is important because kids will spend time doing what they like. So ask your child what he enjoys and help him make it happen. From the ballpark to the playground to the backyard to the indoor obstacle course, there’s something fun for everyone!

One step at a time

You don’t have to go full throttle on the activity level right away. It’s fine to start building movement into your day slowly and increasing the amount and intensity over time. Keep it fun.

Keep trying

Expanding your activity routine is a lot like trying new foods. Sometimes kids need to be exposed to the same activity multiple times before they start to enjoy it. With anything that involves a new skill, there’s a learning curve involved. But once they get past it, they often gain confidence and actually enjoy it.

And if they don’t, at least they tried. And now they can choose a fun new activity to try instead!