Glued to technology from videogames to Netflix, far too many kids are setting the stage for a couch potato life.
Physical activity is important in all walks of life, but it’s essential that kids stay active. Not only is it vital for their health and development, but it’s also crucial for building healthy habits for later in life.
Demanding that kids get up and get moving is a recipe for resistance and does not usually help your child transform their couch potato ways.
Here are some useful ways to get kids active again.
Limit Screen Time
First and foremost, start kids outright by limiting screen time. If you plop your baby in front of the TV for hours a day, you are building a couch potato kid. From the very beginning, make screen time a time-limited activity. Ensure the expectations for kids are clear. To enforce this, do not put TVs in bedrooms. If you need to, you can also control the access to WiFi that each device has.
Sports and Clubs
It’s no secret that sports are a great way to keep kids active and off the couch. From a young age, talk with your child about which sports and activities they may be interested in. Allow them to try what they are interested in, but don’t force them to continue sports they do not like. Being involved in a sports team or club will give your child a sense of responsibility, and a set time for activity.
Don’t limit sports to team practices or games, bring them home! Whether you play basketball in the driveway, practice throwing for baseball, or set up the volleyball net, there are so many ways to stay active in your yard. Play traditional sports, or set up yard games. Toss a frisbee. Play tag. Just get active together outside.
Arts and Crafts
Physical activity is one part of being active, but flexing creativity is also important. When kids sit on the couch, they aren’t challenging their minds or creativity. Arts and crafts are also important for engaging kids. Try some sidewalk chalk, watercolors, crayons, paper mache, and other activities. Help your child look up fun craft ideas and work on them together.
Plan Family Outings
Lead by example and get the family involved. Instead of laying around all weekend, plan some family activities like hiking, biking, walking, or going to the park. If it’s winter, think about sledding, building snowmen, etc. Family outings show that you are also dedicated to staying active and that it’s something you want to do together.
Couch potato kids are a growing concern. The best way to help kids stay active is to make different activities part of your family routine.