Being a child in 2018 is drastically different to what it was like to grow up in the 80’s or the 90’s. Today, kids spend around 55 hours a week indoors on digital devices. ‘Stranger danger’ might make them feel unsafe when playing outside, or they might just not be used to playing outside as much as previous generations were. Worried about your kids’ inactivity? We’ve compiled a list of creative and fun ways you can encourage your kids to get outdoors that feel more like play than exercise!
Electric ride on cars
Kids are always mirroring their parents - let them live out their imagination by getting them their own trendy electric ride on car! Your little one can take their very own BMW or Jeep for a spin outside, exploring new areas in their neighbourhood and getting some much-needed fresh air.
Another way to get your kids active right in your own backyard is to get a trampoline. With a safe and fun trampoline, your kids can get their heart rate going without having to venture to their local playground or park. You can also easily supervise your kids, making it the perfect outdoor activity for when you don’t have enough time to take your kids out to play.
Rethink your family outings
Instead of heading to the movies for your next family day out, think of an active way your family can spend time together. Registered Psychologist and Counsellor Jay from the SW Wellbeing Centre says:
“Some families plan adventure outings or play times - visiting a variety of parks, beaches and forests. Other families connect with another family so there is interaction and social engagement as part of the activity. Other families choose to go fishing or camping, while others have pets and make sure that is a priority for the whole family to be active......having bikes and either going for regular rides in the neighbourhood, or getting out to a great park is another fantastic activity.”
Heading out into nature will also ignite your child’s curiosity as they jump across tree stumps and play with dirt.
While our kids definitely spend too much time in front of devices, there’s plenty of clever ways to get them interested in physical activity using technology. Jamie Jones from The Kids Coach offers an innovative solution:
“We all know the high usage of screens and now kids can use their devices to workout in the comfort of their own home. The Kids Coach (available on iTunes and Google play) are workout sessions designed for 4-12 year old to get them up and moving while getting their daily exercise. Fun movements like super hero squats, frog burpees and stomp jumps have kids engaged and building muscle.”
Check out The Kids Coach Facebook and Instagram pages to see how technology can be used to promote exercise, or try something like Geocaching. Exercise has also been shown to improve educational performance, so by fusing technology and activity, you can set your child up for better performance at school.
Start a planting project
Let your kids plant their own flower, plant or vegetable in the garden. They’ll love getting their hands dirty, tending to their plant and finally watching it grow. This not only gets your kids out into the backyard, but can also foster a lifelong love of gardening and healthy eating!
Set a good example
Jenine Dilts-Bayman from Mums with Bubs Fitness suggests getting involved with your kids:
“As a Mum of two, I understand how hard it can be to get kids out and active. The most important thing is to model this behavior yourself! Let your kids see you enjoying activity! One of my favourite ways to be active as a family is a nature-based scavenger hunt. Make up a list of items each child has to find (or download one), and have them ‘tick’ their boxes as you walk. It's a fun, easy, no-cost way to encourage them (and you) out into Mother Nature, which is great not only for your physical health, but for mental health too.”