While technological literacy is an important skill in the 21st century, kids should also be encouraged to engage in physical activity. Studies confirm that kids now spend an average of seven hours a day in front of a device screen, an alarming trend that’s replacing the amount of time spent in active play.
Here are a few simple ways to keep your family active at home.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that kids get at least an hour of physical activity each day. This may sound like a lot, but keep in mind that it can be broken into smaller chunks of time.
Ways to Inspire At-Home Activity
Some children seem to be bouncing, moving, running, and jumping all the time. Others seem to prefer relaxation and lounging. The key to increasing physical activity without making it a chore is to get involved and to make the activity a natural part of whatever is already going on. Here are three ways you can bring out the energy.
Model Healthy Choices
We all know that “do as I say, not as I do” doesn’t make a good parenting philosophy. The behaviors that parents model for kids, intentionally or not, are the ones they normalize and mimic. That means if we want our kids to spend less time in front of devices and more time moving their bodies, we have to do the same.
Limit TV time and cell phone use for yourself – at least when the kids are around – and let them see that you’re invested in your own physical fitness by starting a daily yoga practice or training for a 5K. Older kids might even want to join you in these activities!
Find Skill-Building Opportunities
Help kids learn a new skill that incorporates physical activity. You can even bypass the pros and take a DIY approach. Go to the library and check out a guide to trees, birds, or wildlife in your region and then head to the nearest state park. Together, test your spotting skills as you and your kids get in a nice hike.
Explore More Games & Physical Activity Ideas
Exercise doesn’t have to be a chore, and once moving becomes a habit, it’s easier to maintain. Find more tips, games, and ideas on the Healthy Students category of our blog.