This article is from ParticipACTION.
Physical activity makes us healthier, faster, stronger, more flexible, smarter and more. But when it comes to kids, it should be all about active play. The following tips are designed to help them enjoy as much active play as we once did.
- DAILY ROUTINES: Help your kids build physical activity into their daily routines with activities like walking or cycling to school with friends.
- IT’S IN THE BAG! Pack their backpacks with equipment that promotes active play at school recess and lunch breaks: a soccer ball, skipping rope, chalk, Frisbee, basketball, etc.
- AT LUNCH & AFTER SCHOOL: Encourage your kids to play active games with friends and to join school teams. Click here for our After School Tips & Recommendations.
- SWIMMING LESSONS: Register for swimming lessons and stick with them until your kids are competent swimmers. Swimming is a life skill and making a splash at the local community centre pool is a terrific way for kids to play.
- BE A MODEL: Be a role model for your child. Active parents tend to have more active children. Introduce your child to some of the activities you enjoy and participate in some of the active games and activities they enjoy too.
- END OF DAY PLAY: Don’t let your child sit in front of the TV or computer after school. Instead, register them for active programs, have them invite a friend over for active outdoor play, or better yet, get active with them.
- EVENING, WEEKEND & HOLIDAY FUN: Make evenings, weekends and holidays active. Plan your activities as a family, write them on the calendar, and anticipate the fun!
- LIMIT SCREEN TIME: Set rules and limit daily screen time or have your children earn it. For example, your child might earn 20 minutes of screen time for every hour they’re active.
- EDUCATE OTHERS ABOUT INACTIVITY: Make sure your child’s daycare and school knows that physical activity is a priority for you and draw their attention to Canada’s physical inactivity crisis. Ask them what they’ll be doing to address inactivity.
- TRACK IT: Buy your child a pedometer to wear and encourage them to strive for at least 10,000 steps a day. You might also equip your child’s bicycle with an odometer to help them track the distance they bike in a day, week, month, or throughout the year.
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