kids playing tug of war

Motivating Kids to Stay Physically Active, Healthy and Happy

Kids naturally love to run around and be physically active. It may not be apparent at the time, but these activities have lots of benefits to their health. As children grow older, however, being physically active on a daily basis becomes a challenge. There are the increasing demands of school, lowered self-esteem thinking that they are not good at sports, lack of role models and the busy lifestyle of working families to contend with.

Even with the time and desire to be physically active, some parents are not really comfortable letting their kids roam around the neighbourhood as much as they did years ago. This is why the opportunity for kids to be active is now limited. Most would rather play games created by mobile application development companies. While these games are entertaining and engaging, nothing beats the advantages of playing outdoors.

It is not too late though; parents can still teach kids to love physical activities and get them into shape.

What Motivates Children to Be Active?

Kids and adults can gain a lot of good things from being active. But how can you encourage your kids to play out in the sun? First, choose activities that are appropriate for your children’s age. If it is not apt for their age, they may get bored or frustrated.

Another way to motivate them is to give them lots of opportunities to be active. It is easier and more enjoyable for kids to be physically active when there is equipment available or if they have access to playgrounds and sports classes. And of course, physical activity should be fun. Otherwise, kids will not do it. Kids who enjoy what they do will want to do more of it, improve their abilities and feel accomplished.

kids playing around in the park

Make Activity Fun Instead of a Boring Routine

One of the best ways to get kids to move and engage in physical activities is to incorporate these activities into their daily routine. Toddlers and preschoolers should be allowed to play several times a day while children aged 6 to 17 can have at least one hour of physical activity daily. Activities may include fun play at home, active time to move around in school, and participation in organised sports such as basketball, volleyball, baseball or swimming.

Although some sports activities allow young children to participate, there are organised sports that require kids who are a little older to understand complex rules. Toddlers also have short attention spans and have yet to develop their coordination. Instead of allowing them to play in team sports, toddlers need to develop their fundamental motor skills first. They can play at playgrounds or run fun obstacle courses that they can handle on their own.

School-aged children learn simple rules and basic skills, which they can use as they get older. Most sports activities at this age are school-based. Encourage your kids to join different sports clubs even if they are not very skilled at playing. It is all about developing a love for being physically active. If they become adept at playing the sport, that is a big bonus!

Parents can encourage kids of all ages to play sports to balance screen time on their computer or mobile devices. The best thing to do is support them and provide them with transportation, gear and sports clothing if necessary to encourage them to keep on playing sports and staying active.