With the increase of electronics and online engagement, children spend less time outdoors and being physically active. Kids spend an average of 53 hours a week on entertainment media. Being active helps reduce the risk of your child developing diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure and high cholesterol while also helping them develop social skills and the ability to learn and retain information. So in order to get your little soccer player to spend more time playing outside, we pulled together some ideas on how you can continue to keep them active when they’re not at the field.
- Set an example by being active
As a role model for your children, show them how fun and beneficial it is to be active and being outside. Make it a daily routine for your family to spend time outside together by going on an evening stroll, passing the soccer ball around in the back yard or taking the dog for a walk.
- Use toys and equipment that encourages outdoor play
Pull together toys that will get your child outside, such as jump ropes, Frisbees, balls and kites. Using a bucket or box to store the items is a great way to keep them all together and encourages your small one to be responsible for putting them away.
- Get magical
Its important to inspire and develop the imagination of your child to help them grow their creativity. Encourage them to see things that might not be there or help them build little fairy homes out of items found around your house and place them in your yard. You can lay in the grass and cloud watch to discover what shapes and things you see or create stories about the figures in the sky.
- Let them discover
You call fuel your child’s curiosity by encouraging them to explore the yard. Give them tools such as a magnifying glass or even a box to store all the cool things they find.
- No harm in a little dirt!
Getting down and dirty is a part of being a kid. We might want to keep them clean and germ-free but allowing them to get dirty helps them develop their immune systems. Send them outside in old clothes to show them it’s OK to get a little dirty.
- Plant a garden
In connection with the above, planting a garden can show your child how to care for something. You can plant fruits and vegetables to later use when cooking or a small patch of pretty flowers. Gardening can help grow your child’s natural curiosity while developing their motor skills and teaching them responsibility and patience.