Thursday 16 April 2015

How to Get Your Kids to Be More Active Outdoors

One apparent downside of technological progress is the reduced motivation for kids to seek their own entertainment and adventure outdoors. In the war for attention against the instant gratification, technological genius and sometimes addictive nature of electronic devices and applications, the outdoors is doing it tough. Consider the threats of weather, sunburn, injury, potential boredom… they’re no match for social media, online games and sugary snacks. What’s a parent to do? Here are a few tips to encourage your kids out into the elements and experience the great outdoors.

Set Time Away from Electronic Devices

Setting your kids at least a couple of hours each day away from electronic devices can help to turn their minds toward other pursuits. Consider engaging with them to come up with ideas for outdoor activities that challenge their minds and bodies, or help them to relax through moderate exercise. Creating a routine of a certain time each day where your kids have no access to their phones, computers or game consoles can help to prevent or break addictions to these devices. You might like to reward them for persevering through the difficult early stages of a new outdoor activity.

Adopt a Dog

Most kids love dogs. And most dogs love kids and exercise. If you haven’t done so already, why not bring a dog into your home? Aside from being loving and affectionate members of the family, dogs have an irresistible way of suggesting a walk. Your kids will want to take Rusty for a walk to the park after school with little or no fuss, relishing the chance to play fetch and socialise with other dogs and people. Animal shelters and reputable breeders are good places to start your search for the right kind of dog.

Find an Activities Club

There are myriad clubs in the community that cater to a broad spectrum of interests and abilities. Perhaps your children show a natural liking or aptitude for ball sports or running; others might lean towards adventure activities that the Scouting movement offers. Kids can exercise while improving their physical skills and strength, as well as gaining social confidence and knowledge of their environment and surroundings. Talking to your kids and observing them to recognise their aptitudes can help to find suitable activities to try.

Riding a Bike

Who can forget the thrill of learning to ride a bike? The first time the training wheels came off, nobody holding you steady. That tentative wobble and stumble before your balance and momentum finally overcame gravity. Not every kid likes sport, but just about every child loves riding a bike. A bike offers new-found freedom and independence, affording kids opportunities to explore with their friends, as well as introducing a great way to spend family time on weekend rides.

Bikes come in a vast array of styles and colours to fit the interests and requirements of riders. You might like to start your kids off with a BMX or cruiser, or maybe a racer or mountain bike is more to their liking. Professionals at specialty bike stores like 99 Bikes can help to find a bike that matches your needs and budget.

These are just a few ideas for getting kids to be active outdoors. Why not share your tips and experiences below?

Jada x


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