24 Mar Tips to make your Child Active
A child is precious – a treasure who can carry forward the legacy of a family, society or country, bringing joy into the lives of many along the way. It is important to take good care of the physical and mental health of your child from the time they first walk; so that they carry the rosy glow of wellbeing into their teenage years and adulthood, enabling them to lead a happy and productive life.
Physical activity is how fitness of both the body and mind can be achieved; as prolonged movement releases endorphins or the “happiness hormone”. You, as the parents or guardians of a child, have a responsibility to introduce and guide them to consistent physical activity.
Here is a list of tips that you can follow/refer to while you aspire to keep your child healthy, active and inspired:
- Choose appropriate physical activities: The first step would be to jot down a list of activities that your kid(s) seems to enjoy. To do this, you can take them on a sample run of some activities that can be carried out effectively in the area you live in. Some suggestions are:
- Passing the ball – A simple game of throwing a ball back-and-forth between your child and other friends. The more, the merrier!
- Musical chairs – Run around a group of chairs and try to find an empty one when the music stops. It is a fun exercise that requires leg-eye coordination!
- Chain Cut – Just like tag, but better! All the kids touched by the “It” kid form a chain by holding hands, and then catch the other kids.
- Hide and Seek – Universal game, that needs no explanation. Warning: Can result in the gaggle of participating kids rolling around in mirth.
- Balloon High – Unleash a pack of balloons onto a crowd of kids, and they should collectively prevent any balloon from touching the ground. It’s a game of focus, teamwork, and chortles!
- Dance, Baby, Dance – True to the title, just play some music and tell a group of kids to jump around and sway, in sync. Fun? Fun!
- Indoor basketball, cricket, tennis, football – The physical, mental and friendship highs that kids experience during these games will stay with them as pleasant memories, for their entire life.
Before picking out an activity, ensure that it is age-appropriate and understandable to your child.
- Limit sedentary activities: We live in a world that has made it easy to sit in one place and access quality entertainment, with just a few clicks. Children easily fall prey to the internet phenomenon. As guardians, we must attempt to limit internet browsing time for kids – the recommended duration for watching screens of any kind (iPad, mobile, TV) is just one hour per day.
You may attempt to distract kids by calling them to play outside, offering them food, asking them to draw, pointing out a dog or cat to them, or disconnecting the WiFi or TV plug!
- Be an idol for your kids: Your kids tend to imitate the people they spend the most time around – so, as tough as it may be to implement, you must work towards being a more physical person too.
Run, play tennis, badminton, basketball – and let your kid watch you from the sidelines. Messaging is important, especially with children – so tell them (verbally) often, that you are going out to shop, walk, swim, play football etc. They tend to listen, absorb and copy your actions – it is highly possible that they will also start integrating physical activities into their routines.
- Plan in advance: Be sure to chart some time out daily from your kids’ day apart from school time, homework, feeding time, TV time and bath time, for physical activities. Try to involve other children from the neighbourhood, if possible.
- Culture of importance for Physical Sports: At home, foster an atmosphere where sports and physical games are discussed with regularity and reverence.
- Don’t Overlook Safety: Another important aspect is the safety of children while they are outside: ensure that they are located in safe spots; well-lit, clear of foliage, with plenty of crowded spaces nearby. Check on them regularly.
If your child is piling up excess weight which can be harmful to their growth, we suggest you read this article on how to reduce obesity in young kids, written by our health expert.