The world in which we live nowadays is dominated by technology, the internet, and mobile devices. While these exciting technological developments have significantly changed our lives for the better in many ways, they can also come with unhealthy repercussions like screen time addiction. Spending excessive time staring at our screens may be one of the reasons why your child seems to have become a “couch potato” and prefers to spend time indoors. Even if your child isn’t into sports, it’s still not healthy for children to remain inside glued to their screens.
Incorporating physical activity and getting exercise doesn’t have to be complicated. By following these tips, you can encourage your little one to be more active and enjoy the benefits of physical activity.
Find activities that your child will enjoy
Not all kids are drawn to sports. If athletic activities aren’t your child’s cup of tea, try to find other types of activities your child may enjoy.
The options are vast when it comes to finding games and fun activities to get your child moving. Remember to take your child’s interests into consideration. Does he or she enjoy dancing or swimming? How about bike riding or rock climbing? If your child isn’t sure what they want to do at first, be patient and allow ample time to find the right fit. Encourage your child to try a variety of activities until they find something they will truly enjoy.
You can make physical activities more engaging and fun for your little one by doing them together. Plan activities that involve your whole family! For example, go for a family hike next weekend, or play a game of catch on your next trip to the lake. You can also take a family bike ride around the neighborhood.
You don’t necessarily need to invest in special equipment or anything extravagant to encourage your child to be active. It just takes a little creativity and time.
Curb screen time
Whether your child enjoys playing video games, watching YouTube videos, or bingeing on their favorite cartoons on TV, too much screen time can be detrimental to your child’s overall wellbeing. Not only can excessive screen time impact their mental health, but it also takes away from time that can be spent doing other healthier activities that promote exercise and movement.
Be sure to limit your child’s screen time to no more than two hours each day. It’s recommended that young children don’t have a TV in their bedrooms. It’s also wise to establish “screen-free zones” in your home where electronic devices are not allowed, such as children’s bedrooms, the dining area, and a school work spot. By limiting children’s screen time, you’re ensuring that there is adequate room for other more active alternatives.
Be a role model
If you spend most nights binge-watching your favorite TV series and snacking on junk food, you’re not setting the best example for your kids. Encouraging your kids to live a healthier lifestyle and be active starts with their parents. Practice what you preach. It’s vital for you to be a good role model if you want your kids to adhere to your expectations about screen time and physical activity. Let your kids see how you incorporate physical activities into your daily life. For example, you might take a walk or go for a jog around the neighborhood in the morning. Do simple workouts at home when you have a few minutes to spare. Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
Establish a regular routine
Like the rest of the activities that comprise your child’s daily schedule, be sure to allot time in the day for physical activity. Making time for exercise is just as important as carving out time for schoolwork, studying, playtime, and meals. Your child is more likely to adopt healthy habits and carry them forward as they grow up if remaining active is incorporated into their daily lives from an early age.
Give children the freedom to choose
Engaging in physical activities is more enjoyable if kids can make their choices about which activities they do. So, instead of always choosing, ask your child which activity he or she would like to do after school or next weekend. Even if it’s something simple like going to the playground or riding a bike to a friend’s house, picking out their own physical activities will help give your child a sense of control instead of being forced.
Do you have trouble motivating your child to exercise? Try these fun ideas to encourage children to become more active as you teach them about the importance of taking care of their bodies and health.
Here at Snapdragon Preschool, we provide children with plenty of opportunities to build a lifelong love for learning and staying active with activities like gymnastics, basketball, flag football, soccer, yoga, and martial arts. Learn more by contacting us today to schedule a visit!