Start the Ball Rolling – How to Get Your Kids More Active

By on April 26, 2019

Do you feel that guilty twinge when you see your kids slumped in front of the TV, or bent over a mobile phone or tablet? Well, you’re not alone there, as this is unfortunately the world we live in and our children haven’t been taught to expect anything else from their afternoons and weekends. This doesn’t have to be the case, as there are many ways to get the kids outside and being active without any devices involved. If you feel like all attempts have got you no closer to this goal, see if you can implement any of these strategies in your household.

Get the equipment

If your child has expressed no interest in sport, then perhaps they haven’t found the right game to tear them away from the video games. You won’t always get traction when you introduce something new to your children, but that’s a battle we must all face as parents. Instead try a softer approach, and simply populate your backyard with soccer balls, cricket bats and other equipment that they can explore when and how they want.

If you think back to your childhood, you would have only mastered what you had access to, so be forthcoming with equipment and games that may whet their appetite. Then you can sit back and watch their curiosity turn into an affinity.

Take the scenic route

Your children won’t be in the track team overnight. But you can increase their steps overnight by simply taking a little longer to get from A to B. When you drive home together, park a little further away so that you can walk the distance together. The same method can be applied to public transport, or you can even remove the car altogether and walk to school or the library. This will also have a passive benefit of familiarising your children with the surrounding areas, confidence in their sense of direction, and a great way to broach that ever important topic of stranger danger.

Group sport

Organised group sport is an incredible learning experience for our children. It demands teamwork, problem solving, emotional maturity and it keeps kids fit. Getting your kids into group sports is one of the best gifts you can bestow on your children, and one that they will likely continue well into adulthood. When children begin to grow and transition into puberty, the fitness element in group sport provides great health benefits, and keeps their hormonal minds concentrated and active. It’s also a great way to build confidence and get them outside of their comfort zone.

Make it game at home

Challenging your child to do something productive is the oldest trick in the book. Don’t act like you haven’t tried it! ‘Who can clean the plates the fastest?’ or ‘Which folding pile is the neatest?’ It’s not a strategy we are altogether proud of, but it can be put to good use in this case and generate an active lifestyle for your children. When you find yourself in the backyard or at the park, simply claiming that you are a faster runner will lead to laps around the yard. Give it a try. Keeping this fresh competition alive in your home will keep everyone on their toes, literally.

Now that you have got the ball rolling on your child’s active habits, you can begin to expand on them as their thirst for sport and activity grows. Treat it as a research project where you can feel out what sort of activity is going to be best for their unique needs and interests. These habits won’t happen overnight, but eventually you will see the Playstation controller being traded in for the soccer ball.