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I really want my kids to get off the couch, turn off the video games and get outside and play. But even when and if I do, there is no one else doing it so my kids come back in. How can I get them active without participating in yet another round of organized sports?


Stevanne Auerbach Replied: More physical activity is a big challenge for many parents
keeping kids physically fit and active is essential for their health and well being.

Can you arrange to take a nature walk? Depending on where you live if other kids want to go along this might add more socializing and more fun.

They have to find things along the way and identify them
adds to observation skills.

Increase the distance each time you go out and they will gain strength and so will you.

Some new equipment might help. Get a frisbee and get them out to throw and catch or a hula hoop to practice and later a contest to see how long they can do it.

Jump roping is good for boys and girls

See my smart play smart toys book and website
for more outdoor play suggestions.

hope this helps.
Dr Toy
Posted On 2009-08-10 13:49:38
Judy Molland Replied: What a great question! Even if we know it's good for our kids to be active and creative, it's not always so easy to make it happen. My first suggestion: get outside with your kids and enjoy the outdoors together. Develop a plan to make a snowperson, build a sandcastle, examine the trees on your street (this of course will vary, depending on where you live). And show excitement! Enthusiasm is contagious. Next, be ready to compromise. Tell your children that you love those electronic gadgets as much as they do, but there's time for both technology and the great outdoors. Make a schedule for both and stick to it. For my third suggestion, check out my book, listed below, which will give you plenty of ideas about how to get your kids outside and what to do once you're there. Good luck!
Posted On 2009-08-08 14:34:52
Rhonda Clements Replied: It may help if you offer a simple challenge or incentive to be active (e.g., let's go outside and identify different obejcts that start with each letter of the alphabet. Or give your child 3 different choices (e.g., would you like to go to the playground, the school ground, or we could explore a new park. Finally, the outdoors is a great place use natural objects and be creative.
Posted On 2009-08-03 17:24:40
Ashley Hammond Replied: Kids are often like little sticks of dynamite... when you find the right way to light the fuse they go off with a good bang... It is crucial that you find the right activity for your kids in order to ignite that fuse. If organized sports are not the right answer then many other options exist. It will however, require that you and your partner/husband/wife put lots of energy into the equation. The lure of the video game is strong and it will require a big push on your behalf. Doing family activitites is crucial and they can be fun and enjoyable... crazy golf, going to the library, music lessons, museums, hiking, nature walks, cooking and volunteer work in schools, hospitals and churches are all great ideas. These and many other activities can be found cheaply and close by in most neighborhoods, they simply require organization and energy. Another approach to changing "video game habits" can be done with a gradual withdrawal. Set time limits on each day with certain days listed as video free or time is earned based on reading or other activities completed. A family meeting to discuss how this can be implemented will give the kids a sense of control over their destiny and they will more likely buy into the philosophy.. you simply steer them to the place that you want them versus dictating. Talk to other parents about setting aside special nights where everyone cooperates and has a video free night to get all kids outside and then build on this community effort to reduce inside time! Good luck
Posted On 2009-07-30 16:28:29
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