Getting children active

  • Date: 23 August 2013
  • Category: News
OSHC hand game

Recent YMCA research has found that two thirds of parents see one or more barriers to their children becoming more physically active. Barriers can include cost of activities, lack of outdoor play areas and transportation difficulties. The good news is that despite these barriers, the majority of parents feel their children are engaged in the right amount of physical activity. So with school holidays just around the corner, we’ve put together three outdoor activities that are fun, safe and involve the whole family.

Children’s games and activities
Children are generally active beings, and enjoy exploring, playing and being outside. The great thing about this is you can use them to benefit the entire family. Games such as “tag, you’re it”, “hide and go seek”, dance competitions, and even a game of beach or park sports can be great exercise for the whole family whilst ensuring everyone is having a fun time.

It's one of the best forms of cardiovascular exercise and can be done just about anywhere. If you haven’t done much skipping it’s important to try and be as light on your feet as possible, aiming for a constant rhythm. Try to build up your intensity and volume progressively. Mix it up by having music playing, moving forwards, backwards, side to side, using one leg, double jumps, cross overs and even high knees. It’s important to have a flat even surface to skip on to avoid injury. Skipping ropes are also fantastic to use with the whole family. Creating fun and interactive games and small challenges/competitions is a great way to involve the whole family, whilst enjoying working out.

Explore the City
Are you planning on going away for the school holidays? There’s no limits to the exercise you can do while exploring a new town or city. Ask hotel staff for a map and get your daily fix of exercise by exploring your holiday location on foot – you will be amazed at the sites you’ll see and the fun you’ll have.

With younger children, think outside the box and turn exercise into games and fun activities which can really engage them whilst keeping your heart-rate up. As little as 30 minutes of physical activity a day is all that is needed to help them be healthier and happier.