Children need movement to stay healthy physically and emotionally. With technology such a constant in our everyday lives, it’s important to prioritize outdoor time.
Fortunately, it’s easy to get children moving. The key is to focus on activities your child would enjoy. From family dance time to a quick game of tag, you as a parent can easily bring the excitement and fun of being physically active into your child’s life. You will also be laying the foundation for your child to have a healthy lifestyle as an adult.
At Primrose, we developed the Thumbs Up! Physical Fitness Program as part of our Balanced Learning approach to give our students daily physical fitness activities that are fun and designed to strengthen their bodies, improve their coordination, and learn skills they will be able to use when they play games or sports later on.
Here are some fun ideas for exercising with your child during the warmer months:
Playground tourism: Do you know all the playgrounds in your area? Check out your local government’s website for a complete listing or ask other families for recommendations. There may be one you have overlooked. The novelty will be exciting and inspire your child to run, play and explore. Give their brain a workout by talking about the differences and similarities between the new playground and the ones you normally visit.
Shady nature walk: Visit a local park or nature preserve with a lot of trees. The leaf canopy can protect you and your child from the direct sun while you explore together. Identify different shades of green and brown and look for bugs, birds, deer and other wildlife to make it a brain workout, too.
Fun with scarves: Do you have scarves or other strips of fabric in your home? Show your child how to move and dance to music with old scarves. Tossing them in the air and catching them will increase their hand/eye coordination.
Beat the heat: If you can’t get to a pool, lawn sprinklers and water tables are great ways to cool down on a hot summer day while staying active and enjoying the outdoors. If you don’t have water toys, you can fill buckets with cold water and give your child small containers to pour water into them. (If you have a kiddie pool, try ice-cube racing, using water squirters to move ice cubes.)
For your children, these activities will feel like play — because they are! — rather than exercise. And when you play with them, you get exercise too.
For more on keeping children healthy and active, check out:
- 4 Exercises to Help Your Baby Walk
- 6 Indoor Activities to Keep Children Active This Winter
- Why It’s Beneficial to Let Your Kids Play in the Dirt
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