The pre-teen years are the most active years in the lives of many children. It is during this time that their activity and energy levels are very high. As such, it is important to find ways to keep them positively engaged in some physical activity. In Britain, obesity in children is becoming a worrying trend, one mainly attributed to the type of diet and how physically active they are. Below are some important ways to keep your child active:
Look for Fun Outdoor Activities
As a parent, you can find fun activities that do not necessarily include a set sport. In the formative years, you have tremendous influence over your children. Therefore, encourage the value of exercise to them. Some of the activities may include ice skating and bowling, which are moderately active and very fun. Such activities will keep your pre-teen physically occupied, as opposed to passive activities like playing video games or watching TV.
Incorporate Physical Activity into Family Outings
Whenever you are planning for an outing, include activities with exercise. Ensure that all the family members can participate; it promotes activity values in your pre-teen, as well as social development. In your next weekend plan, include swimming, walks in the park or even a treasure hunt, having fun while burning some calories.
Engage their Friends
The advantage of knowing the friends of your children is that you will get to know some of the activities that their friendship circle enjoy in school, as well as some of the clubs they participate in. You can use this information to know which fun activities to incorporate into play time. You also learn about their interests instead of just imposing activities that they may not like, especially when friends come round to play.
Don’t be Overly Cautious
One of the mistakes some parents make is to be overly-cautious and controlling of their kids, especially when they (the parents) are not around. Of course, you should always be concerned about your child’s safety, but it can be helpful to allow them a level of measured risks so that they can grow in confidence as they try new things.
Consider Gym Ideas
You can consider some gym ideas as a means of encouraging your pre-teen to exercise. Research has shown that children, particularly at this stage, learn a lot more by watching and imitating parents and other older people, than by listening and following their instructions. Encouraging your teen to be more active and exercise through your own examples of being active, maybe with a home fitness DVD, swimming or active play in the garden.
Vary the Activities
At this stage of their development, kids are often distracted and bored by one activity. Therefore, instead of having a rigid and singular task, you can try to introduce new activities or at least try to vary the activities to maintain the attention of your child. If you are a member of a sports club or leisure centre, you could encourage them to choose from the variety of activities in the club and enjoy a range of different opportunities.
As mentioned, the pre-teen stage is demanding in a variety of ways for a parent. We understand that well here at Garden Play, but it’s important not to let your children’s physical activity drop in this period, both for their physical health and there learning. We hope these ideas have been helpful in allowing you to support your children in their physical activity.