Children need at least 60 minutes of physical activity each day, including aerobic and muscle strengthening activities. At YMCA Healthy Kids Day, discover new activities and a community for healthy families where everyone belongs.
Here are some tips to ensure your family is active and engaged in a fun, healthy lifestyle:
Take Your Kids with You
Rather than heading out on a walk or jog solo, invite your kids to hop on their bicycles, skateboards and scooters and head out with you. You will come back energized and connected knowing you’ve set a great example and spent quality time together. Everyone wins!
Free is Good!
Many communities have free or low-cost youth activities or programs at facilities such as pools, playgrounds, parks, sporting fields, community centres and (of course) the YMCA! Ask your child’s teacher, contact your local municipality, search online, in your local paper, or contact your local YMCA, rec centre or library for upcoming events.
Think Outside the Box
Who says hockey can only be played in the winter? A frisbee or hula-hoop can be enjoyed any time of year. Take a look at what equipment you already have on hand and encourage your kids to use them in new ways or at times they wouldn’t normally think of. They’ll be excited by the novelty of the idea and the fun-factor will keep them active and inspired.
Go Fly a Kite!
Pick up a kite or make your own and take your kids to a local park or playground for hours of family fun. Check out this link to help you make your own kite!
Invite Friends Along
Playing alone becomes a barrier for some children to engaging in physical activity. Invite some neighborhood buddies over and see how fast they come up with active things to do.
Take a Hike
Kids love to explore and a hike is a perfect way to do it. The summer is the best time to get outdoors to your local conservation areas, trails and parks! Have you taken your kids to all of the parks your city has to offer? Together you can examine trees, cool plants and various animal tracks. Hiking is simple, free, and develops physical literacy.
Leave the Car at Home
Depending on the distance and safety factor, consider letting your children walk to school, the library, their friend’s house, or any other place you would normally drive them to. If you are shopping, park a little farther and have fun by counting the steps to your destination. Some kids may be inspired by tracking their steps with a pedometer. Pedometers are relatively inexpensive and many libraries have them available on loan, all you have to do is ask!
Be Active Inside!
For those extra hot or rainy summer days, plan for indoor activities such as bowling, laser tag, or indoor rock climbing. Try activities together like yoga or relay races (just search YouTube for some inspiration)! Make chores fun and do them together. Plan rewards for helping out and you’ll keep your kids busy and away from screens for most of the day.
Compiled and developed by Lindsay McDermott, YMCA of Western Ontario