(StatePoint) Getting regular physical activity helps children meet developmental milestones and promotes mental and physical wellness. However, forming this healthy habit works best when you get started early. To motivate your kids to move more, consider the following ideas:
• Go on an outing: At least some of the time, be sure to select active outings. This way, physical activity will become a natural part of your family’s lifestyle. For example, go skating or rock climbing instead of to the movies. If you’re going on a picnic, hike or bike to the picnic site and bring along frisbees, balls and other toys and games that keep people moving.
• Put on your dancing shoes: It’s easy to get kids moving and grooving with fun dance games. Especially those that incorporate innovative and interactive tech such as the new VTech Kidi Star Dance. By wearing motion-activated bands, kids can learn 20 cool dance moves step-by-step by following the animated dance instructor. Once kids learn the moves, they can put them together and dance along to the included music. Color-changing lights flash along to the music to make kids feel like a star. Play four motion games or create music through movement by playing 14 different effects, including drums and magical fairy sounds. Give the second band to a friend and challenge them to a game or dance-off. Connect your own MP3 player or load songs using a microSD card to add more music so kids never get bored.
• Take evening walks: Instead of heading straight for the couch in the evenings, make a ritual of taking a short walk first. This is a great chance to chitchat, get some fresh air and even promote better sleep. Kids may not be able to travel too far at first, so start with a brief walk around the block. As they begin to build endurance, extend it a bit farther or consider turning the ritual into a friendly race.
Physical activity is not only great for you, but it’s also a lot of fun. By incorporating games and activities into evenings and weekends, parents can play an active role in getting kids motivated to move more.