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Peter Gilgan Family YMCA
410 Rebecca Street, Oakville

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Tips for Healthy Kids: Physical Activity

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

Canadian kids still not getting enough exercise

According to the newest data from Statistics Canada, fewer than 20% of Canadian children and youth are still not meeting recommended targets for physical activity. Two studies released last fall reveal kids are also spending too much time in front of digital screens and not getting enough sleep.

Results from the Canadian Health Measures Survey from Statistics Canada, also published in 2017, show that parents’ activity levels directly impact physical activity levels in our kids. The 2016 YMCA Healthy Kids Report had similar findings, with 85% of Canadian parents agreeing they are an important influence and only a few identifying themselves as ‘excellent’ healthy role models.

Leading a healthy lifestyle that includes meeting recommended physical activity is challenging, and often, seems impossible. Work, errands, activities, homework and more fill our schedules, leaving us with too much to do in a short amount of time.

But, it’s easier than you think.

Join us for YMCA Healthy Kids Day on Sunday, June 3 and discover tons of tools and resources to help you create a healthier lifestyle. This free community event will show you and your family how simple daily actions can make a huge impact.

Visit YMCA Healthy Kids Day for a complete schedule of events and drop by the Y on June 3 from 11:00-3:00!

Strengthening YMCA Healthy Kids Day through Community Partners

At the YMCA, we believe that healthy families are connected to their community; they feel like they belong. On Sunday, June 3 we are hosting YMCA Healthy Kids Day, a day dedicated to improving the health of local families through free activities and programming, to bring families together to connect.

We are so proud to work with so many local agencies, bringing together organizations focused on physical health, mental health, families, children, and parents for this FREE community event.

Organizations like:

  • Oakville Galleries
    Do you like making art? Join Oakville Galleries outdoors to make artwork that you can stick wherever you want! Each participant will create a small drawing then turn it into a sticker with a hand-cranked sticker machine.
  • OBA Cares
    Just like children need to learn to read and write, they also need to learn to move with competence and confidence across a variety of movements, giving them the tools required to be active for life. OBA Cares is designed to teach fundamental movement and basic basketball skills while developing physical literacy in young athletes.
  • Massive Tank Studios
    The local professional recording studio has worked with Community Living Oakville and Mind Forward Brain Injury Services to bring a band program to clients with both developmental delays and acquired brain injuries. Playing outdoors from 11:00 am – 3:00 pm, check out the CLO Rep Band, The Wednesdays, The Rehabs, Matteo Esposito & more!
  • Mission Possible Escape Rooms
    Your tribe has been placed on a deserted island and must work as a team to solve puzzles and riddles while searching for the God of Immunity mask. Work together as a family to find the God of Immunity mask before time is up!
  • And so many more!

Click here for our full Activity Schedule

Thank you to all of our community partners and exhibitors for participating in YMCA Healthy Kids Day, and helping us work towards a community of healthy families.

Join a Community

At the Y you join more than a gym. You join a community deeply committed to helping build healthy children, adults and families.

The Power of Belonging

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Help a struggling family. Give them access to affordable child care.

Programs that meet your needs at every stage of life

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Tips for Healthy Kids: Physical Activity

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Canadian kids still not getting enough exercise

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