The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends children get at least 60 minutes of exercise a day. Thankfully, the cold days are fading away, and the sunlight is sticking around later, allowing for more time outside. While it might be getting easier to keep your kids active, there are still difficulties to overcome. Spring means rain, mud, and sometimes dreary weather. Even during drizzly days, it’s important for your kids’ health to make sure they get physical activity. Here are some tips to help you encourage them to get the activity they need:
1. Get Outside
Outdoor activity can’t increase if you and your kids spend all you time indoors waiting out the inconsistent weather until summer hits full force. Get everyone outside and the exercise will come naturally. Make sure you lead the way as kids learn by example. If it isn’t too cold, splash in the puddles, and don’t be afraid to get a little dirty and play in the mud.
2. Reduce Screen Time
Without television or handheld devices to distract them, children are much more likely to choose physical activity themselves. Reduce their screen time and be sure to set limits and stick to them. Indoor physical play, such as imagining the floor is lava, is a great way to get activity and utilize their powerful imagination when the weather just simply will not allow you to go out.
3. Get Weather Appropriate Clothing
Winter thawing into spring means bright, sunshine filled days. It also means plenty of rainy, drizzly days. Make sure your children have weather appropriate clothing such as rain boots, rain coats, and warm layers. That way, if you do happen to get caught in the rain, no one is the worse for it. Splashing in puddles is much more enjoyable when you can walk away with dry, warm socks!
4. Let the Kids Choose
Sometimes, the biggest thing holding kids back from increased activity is feeling forced into it. Let your kids choose what they want to do. If they need a little help, give them a list of acceptable options (walking, hiking, bicycling, games in the park, and so on) and allow them to pick their favorite. Be open to suggestions as well. You might find yourself discovering a new favorite exercise.
5. Invite Friends
Often, children just want to spend time with their friends, especially as they get a little older. Let them! Have them invite someone along on a walk or to spend a day in the park.
Staying active is important for your children’s development no matter the season. For more information about your kids’ health and how to make sure they get proper exercise, contact us.