By Jordan Beach, LCSW, June 26, 2018 –
We live in a high-tech world. Today’s children have been surrounded by technology since the day they were born.
As they get older it’s often more difficult to get kids away from their electronic devices to engage in active play. While it is important for children to understand technology, that importance does not override the need to be healthy and active away from these devices.
We know that children need 60 minutes of exercise a day, but how can you get your kids moving without starting a war in your home?
Here are a few ideas that might help motivate your child:
1. Try using an activity jar. Sometimes children are indecisive. Have them help you make a list of some of their favorite cardio activities. On the days they are unmotivated (or just can’t decide) you can draw an activity out of the jar as a prompt.
2. Whenever possible, get outside! The options for physical activity are endless when playing outdoors. You don’t need to leave your own yard to have a good time running and playing. You can play a game of tag, turn on the sprinklers, have a Nerf war, or practice their favorite sport. All of these activities can be done in a limited space with little to no equipment.
3. If you’re looking for more adventure, take your activities away from home. Take a walk as a family, and if you have a furry friend bring them along! Check out community parks nearby, and make a point to try new parks. This will keep the outings interesting for your little ones. Inviting friends along is a great way to get your kids excited about outdoor play.
4. It’s clearly not difficult to get your family moving on a nice sunny day, but what do you do if it is raining or too cold to go outside? Utilize some of the same tools your child’s teacher uses in the classroom. Go Noodle (gonoodle.com) is a great site to get your child up and moving. This would also give your child the opportunity to show you some of their favorite “brain breaks” from school.
5. If you’re trying to get kids away from electronics, try just turning on your radio and having a family dance party. Kids love this!
There is no denying that the older our children get, the more difficult it is to get them away from technology to play like kids again. However, we also can’t diminish the importance of active play. Turning off electronics is good for our children in a multitude of ways; most importantly, it keeps them healthy.