Email this page to a friend.
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 enticing.
So we’re arming parents with the motivational tips and tools you need to get kids playing!
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.
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 hop-scotch, jumping rope, tag or hide-and-go-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.
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!
And if you try something new that your kids don't like the first time (like soccer practice), encourage them to keep trying. Which leads us to the next tip.
Never give up!
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!
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.
The important thing is to remember some is better than none.
See, you really don’t have to bend over backwards to turn “exercise“ into “child’s play.“ It’s pretty simple: if you keep it fun, they’ll keep moving.
And now it’s time to hop off the computer and get your whole family moving!
Check out our other ideas for family fun!
Everyone in the family—even toddlers—are screen savvy, spending lots of time on tablets, phones and computers. Want to know how your family can disconnect from all of the screens in their lives? Check out our tips!
Register your email address for tips, updates, and our Strong4Life Newsletter with articles from the specialists at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta.
Tell us what you'd like to learn more about:
Signing up for Strong4Life Email is a big step toward keeping your family on a healthy track.
Based on what you've told us, you might want to check out these topics: