There are so many health benefits to getting your kids outside and active.
Regular physical activity improves strength and endurance, helps build healthy bones and muscles, and can even reduce anxiety and stress.
And being outside has been proven time and time again to be good for you; including improved sleep, better mental wellbeing and getting your intake of Vitamin D, which is important for a healthy immune system.
So safe to say it’s time to get your kids outside and active, and benefiting from all those positives!
And here’s how you can do it…
1. Give them variety
Make sure you have all the tools you need to bring a little variety to outdoor active fun, in a place that’s easy to access, so inspiration is never hard to come by.
Grab a big plastic tub and fill it with the sporting equipment you have to encourage your family to get outside and active in new creative ways. Think tennis balls, badminton sets, catch ball sets, sports balls, skipping ropes, chalk, plastic bowling pins, hula hoops, water guns, backyard cricket sets, or a plastic sheet from Bunnings for outdoor crafts, painting or a quick slip ‘n’ slide!
2. Plan special active weekend activities
When you look to options for your weekend entertainment, try to work in something fun, active and exciting to do together. For example, bike riding is fun, but driving to a special park or botanical garden to ride together is even more special because it’s different!
In the same way, kicking a ball around at home is great, but it’s even more exciting if you take it to the beach! And it becomes even more exciting if you spend some time before and after walking together as a family, looking in all the rock pools, building sandcastles and splashing in the waves.
Family hikes get everyone outside, breathing in the fresh air and enjoying the surroundings. Add a healthy picnic, a few happy snaps and you’ve created great family memories.
3. Set an Example
Kids develop habits from watching their parents. Set a good example for your kids and get active yourself. Whether it’s going for a walk with the family dog or riding your bike to the grocery store, or finally getting around to trying that home Yoga DVD, it will show your kids the importance of physical activity. And don’t forget, you can use your trampoline too!
Whatever you do when you set the example, do it together! We know home life can be hectic; with housework, meal times, work life, sports, school commitments and school runs. Balance is everything, and you’ll want to make the best use of your active time by making it family time as well.
Make time to ensure your kids love being outdoors. And the plus side of activities being outside: less mess indoors!
4. Garden Together & Makeover Your Backyard
Making your backyard a fun, attractive and enticing place will make you, and your family want to spend more time in it. Plus spending the time together to do so is a great bonding experience and outdoor fun you can enjoy together.
It will provide you with plenty of hours of outside and active entertainment, as well as creating that sense of ownership; your kids will enjoy the feeling of making the backyard their own.
Spend time together as a family to make over your garden. Build a veggie patch and plant edibles. Save the seeds from your tomatoes, watermelons and other fruit and vegetables. The kids will love seeing their efforts grow into something they can eat.
Let the kids pick a pack of flower seeds each, to add pops of colour around the garden, and plant them together – let them paint the pot if you’re feeling brave!
Even if the kids are not digging and pulling weeds, just being outside throughout the experience and being involved in some way will help build positive experiences outside, increasing your kids’ comfort being outdoors and around nature.
And while you’re in backyard improvement mode, you can also think about any active outdoor play equipment to gift the kids for a birthday or Christmas present, to add to the appeal of your backyard. A trampoline, a swing set, a blow up pool for family weekends cooling down, a basketball hoop – the list goes on!
5. Start Jumping
Just 10 minutes on a trampoline will give you a fun cardio workout that’s sure to get your heart rate up! Get your kids jumping on a trampoline and they’ll be active for hours. You can even sneak in 10 minutes of jumping before school to get them excited and ready for the day, or use time on the trampoline as a reward for getting homework done on time!
You might also like to read: