The benefits of exercise for children are endless. Kids’ exercise not only improves their health and fitness, but also encourages children to work and play together in a hands-on environment – it’s a great way for them to have fun together outdoors, trying new things and learning new skills.
From Frisbee and football, to basketball, badminton, swimming, skiing, and skateboarding, there’s a sport to suit every child – all you need to know is how get them started! Exercise for children (and adults, for that matter) is an important part of everyday family life, keeping your kids healthy and happy with an active lifestyle. In this article, we reveal tips and techniques to help you convert even exercise-wary children – no tears or tantrums necessary.
Choosing Kids’ Exercise Activities
When choosing exercise for kids, it’s important to recognise and understand their various likes and dislikes. If a child prefers solitary activities or one-on-one interactions, don’t push them into team sports or activities that rely on a large group of other children. On the other hand, if your child is extremely social and enjoys spending time with their friends, find a group activity to make them see that exercise can be an excuse to socialise too.
Most children will have tried the core range of traditional sports at school; so if they haven’t already expressed an interest, it’s not worth trying to make them enthusiastic about something they already know very well. Instead, look for alternative, more unusual choices.
Today, sports as varied as dodge ball, ping-pong, fencing, archery, cheerleading, and ice-skating are increasingly common, with many leisure centres and clubs offering classes to children of all ages. Don’t be afraid to go off the beaten track – with numerous classes offering free taster sessions, there really is nothing to lose.
Family Fun: Exercise for Children & Adults
Lazy weekends are great, but it’s important that your child sees exercising as a positive activity enjoyed by everyone – and enjoying active fun together as a family will help.
For example, you could start making time for family walks, trips to the local swimming pool, or games of football in the garden. Organising meet-ups with friends and other families around exercise is also a great tactic. A rounders match or football tournament at the local park is a fun and free way to stay active and socialise at the same time; you could even have a barbecue afterwards to celebrate.
Check out some of our fun ideas for outdoor games and activities for your little ones for more inspiration – or look at some of our fun group games for kids, including Leapfrog and the Indian game Kho Kho! Do your kids love to exercise? What are their favourite activities? Share your thoughts with us in the comment box below!