All any child really wants is your attention and to be included in everyday activities. If you keep this in mind, you’ll find that it is relatively easy to provide the recommended three hours a day of physical activity for very little cost.
Something as simple as a trip to the shops can be a good way of including your child in a day-to-day activity. Allow your child to walk to and from your destination rather than pushing her in a buggy or pram.
Once at the shops consider letting your child carry the basket, or give her a small basket of her own to put things in. While it won’t speed up your shopping trip, it will keep your child occupied and go some way towards making sure she is being active. Shopping together can also be fun.
Simple games from yesteryear, often long forgotten in this digital age, can still have great appeal to the young, and the best part is that they are either free or are very cheap to arrange. We can all remember the games we played as children, and there are few things that are more fun than re-discovering these games with our own children. Ten or fifteen minutes of ‘hide and seek’ either in the house, a public park or the garden, possibly followed by a bit of ‘kick the can’ can be really good, honest fun. Try ‘Pooh sticks’ when you are near a stream – your children will enjoy throwing their chosen twigs in to the water on one side of a bridge and then eagerly waiting to see which one comes out first on the other side and is the winner.
Music is a fantastic way for children to express themselves with movement. It often doesn’t take much more than having the radio on in the background to encourage random and sporadic explosions of dance, which will, of course, be much more fun for your child if you join in too.
In preparation for a rainy day you could purchase used games from friends and family, or borrow a dance game for your games system. Television and video games have their place in the home, but they need to be used as just one form of entertainment, not as a means of keeping a child quiet. It is,in reality more a case of how and what they are used for.
Leading an active lifestyle is much more than just being out and about, we are all aware of how important a good balanced diet is to general well being. A fantastic way of combining both physical health and dietary requirements is to create a vegetable plot in the garden, or if you haven’t got a garden a window box will do just as well. Even the smallest space can provide some digging fun and an enhanced understanding of where food comes from.
As in most things, balance is key and all things in moderation is more than just an over used quote. Children also require a lot of rest. As good, and as much needed, as physical activity is, it is also important to have plenty of rest to compensate for all of the activity. So, sometimes, there is nothing nicer than having the odd day where you do little more than watch a favourite film snuggled under a blanket together.