how to get kids moving

How to Get Kids Moving and Exercising

Exercise is an important part of growing up to be healthy. Here are some tips on how to get kids moving…

In a world of screens and technology, it can be challenging to get kids off the sofa and active. However, regular physical activity is essential for children’s health, development, and wellbeing. The benefits are immense – from building strong bones and muscles to improving focus and academic performance. 

Here are some tips on how to get your kids moving:

Make Exercise Fun

Regardless of whether they are your own children or you are fostering in the north east, the key is finding activities your child genuinely enjoys. Let them take the lead in choosing a sport or physical activity that matches their interests and personality. Emphasise playing over competing. Praise their effort and enjoyment rather than performance. Fun wins over forced every time.

Encourage Team Sports

Team sports provide great exercise along with important life lessons like teamwork, communication and sportsmanship. Kids learn how to cooperate towards a common goal. Sign your child up for a local recreational league that emphasises participation over competition. Football, volleyball and softball are great starter team sports.

how to get kids moving

Lead by Example

Children model behaviour. Be a role model by living an active lifestyle yourself. Make family walks, bike rides or hikes part of your regular routine. Your enthusiasm and participation will motivate them more than words.

Encourage Exploration

Give kids opportunities to discover activities they love. Sign them up for sports taster sessions, youth clubs or day camps that offer diverse options – from dance to martial arts to skateboarding. Avoid specialising in one sport too early.

Turn Chores into Games

Mundane tasks like cleaning or gardening can double as fun fitness activities. Challenge them to a raking race, see who can stack wood the fastest or create an obstacle course for taking out rubbish.  A little playful competition makes household chores seem like less work.

Schedule Daily Downtime

Kids need unstructured playtime every day to get their bodies moving. This could be playing catch in the garden, riding bikes around the neighbourhood or making up dance routines. Creativity flows when there are no rules.

how to get kids moving

Limit Screen Time

Sedentary screen time fuels inactivity. Set clear limits on daily technology use and encourage kids to earn screen time by being active first. Unplug electronic devices for certain days or times.

Encourage Garden Play

Back gardens offer open space for all kids of physical games and sports. If you have the space, install a swing set, trampoline, basketball hoop, football goal or other equipment to inspire activity. Create hopscotch and obstacle courses with chalk.

Walk or Bike to School

If distance allows, skip the school bus or car ride and walk or bike to school. You’ll all get exercise and fresh air. Enlist other parents to create walking groups or ‘bike trains’ where kids travel together.

Make Exercise a Family Priority

Treat physical activity with the same importance as other commitments. Schedule it into your calendars and make time for it. Plan active vacations and weekends. Prioritising exercise teaches kids healthy habits. 

The benefits of an active lifestyle go far beyond physical fitness. Regular exercise improves concentration, mood, sleep quality, self-esteem and overall well-being. The habits kids build now lay the foundation for a lifetime of health.