When it comes to the importance of physical activity, many parents have it lucky—these parents have the luxury of nearby playgrounds, which has encouraged an appetite for physical activity in their children. But congested cities, with little real estate left, do not offer that environmental advantage for kids. If there are no playgrounds, there can be no sports.
Further, given the predominance of gadgets, parents are finding it harder to convince their kids to engage in physical activity. Thankfully, kids have fertile minds. They are so impressionable that, in the right setting, you can get them to participate in almost any activity.
Here, we present five tips to plant the seed of physical activity in fertile minds:
1. Plan a Weekly Family Activity
A love of physical activity is best impressed when it is done with other loved ones. Cliches like the parents taking the kids camping haven’t just come out of a vacuum. They’ve come out of a real need to bond.
We advise you to make it a weekly or monthly habit to involve your whole family in these activities:
- Hiking to and from famous landmarks
- Trekking at various spots in the countryside
- Camping in a safe zone, preferably with an obstacle course, rock climbing, and kayaking.
- Picnicking in an open park area where physical activity is possible
2. Use Physical Activity as a Currency for Screen Time
As we mentioned before, the idea of digital hobbies waylays kids, keeping them away from productive exercise.
So how do you balance this?
Establish a rule that only a certain amount of daily physical activity will allow them the use of their PlayStations. An hour of football in the park could “buy” an hour of Minecraft. Or you could mix the two aspects and buy body-motion gaming consoles like the Nintendo Switch.
Additionally, you can establish a reward system regarding household chores, which could include gardening and cleaning specific parts of the house.
3. Inculcate Competition & Performance Arts
Competition within specific rules can lead the kids to engage in physical activity. This is why sports are almost always the best way to enable this.
- Develop the love of a sport in a kid.
- Do it through digital media, where elite athletes show their skills on screen.
- Do it through the example of their sporty peers and siblings.
- Then take steps to teach your kids the sport and encourage them to practice it against their peers or siblings.
If competition is not your personal philosophy, creativity can fill in. Dance, drama, skateboarding, and other forms of creative physical activity can stimulate the minds of kids as they are exploring the world.
4. Collaborate With Other Parents to Buy Playground Equipment
Playground equipment can present a vivid spectacle of exciting possibilities in a child’s mind and can encourage kids to get active. Investing in these multi-activity spaces, which include monkey bars, jungle gyms, climbers, slides, see-saws, and spring riders, can offer a host of benefits. They are as follows:
- Mental: Kids can mentally map out how to use the playground space in a variety of ways. By doing so, they boost imagination, creativity, and problem-solving skills. Think of it as a canvas, and the kid as the painter.
- Physical: Kids will be constantly in motion, getting the desired exercise of body parts.
- Social: Kids will have the opportunity to interact with each other, improve their communication skills, and create friendships.
- Monetary: If there is a collaborated effort on the part of the parents in a neighborhood, then the expenses get split and everyone achieves the desired objective.
In time, the collective of neighborhood kids will form a habit that encourages each other to participate in physical activities. And that will be beneficial in the long run, for your child’s overall development.