The summer holidays are a gift and a curse. At first, it is great that you don’t have to worry about getting the kids up and to school in the morning. Plus, it is nice for them to have a break because they do work hard. After a while, though, the novelty wears off, and you realize that they are just going to sit in front of the TV all summer. Obviously, you can’t let them do that because they need to stay active. They are only children, and children need to exercise and release their energy. The problem every parent faces is trying to unglue them from the TV set. If you let them, they will ‘chill out’ all day long. At some point over the holidays, they will have to leave the house. The following tips are the best ways to get them to do that sooner rather than later.
1. Organized Sports Teams
If you’re lucky, you will have kids that enjoy playing all forms of sport. Why is that lucky? It is lucky because it is an excuse to keep them fit and healthy. Most sports teams meet up to train or play games a couple of times a week, and even more during the holidays. What’s great about sports teams is that kids tend to love the experience. Not only do they love playing, but they also love to socialize and mess around with their friends. As a result, you won’t have to pester them or order them out of the house. They will gladly leave of their volition if they have something in their life that they enjoy. And, the more teams they play for, the more active they will become.
2. Give Them More Freedom
However, you shouldn’t rely on organized sports teams because they aren’t infallible. The truth is that your children might not get that much game time because everyone has to participate. As a result, they might not be doing enough during their practice sessions and at game time. What they need is to get out more when they have free time, and they can only do that with parental freedom. Almost every parent has concerns for their child’s welfare. But, you can’t look after them twenty-four-seven. During the day, you have to let them go out and explore the world. Otherwise, you will smother their activity levels. All you have to do is let them go out with their friends, and they will keep themselves active. It is amazing what kids can do with a lot of time and their imaginations.
3. Turn Off The TV
No parent wants to be that person that orders their children around. Yet, sometimes it is necessary for the sake of your children. Television, for example, is okay in small doses. But, too much of it will make your children lazy and unproductive. That is why it is important to turn the TV off during the day. When they have nothing else to do, they will find a way to entertain themselves. Some parents even have certain times of the day where TV isn’t allowed. You don’t have to go that far, but you should step in if you feel they are watching too much. Turn off the TV and kick them out so they get at least an hour of activity. Plus, you get a bit of alone time!
4. Unless It Is Interactive & Educational
Believe it or not, the TV can be a good tool for your children. However, that is only in certain circumstances. The best example is a Nintendo Wii. Unlike other consoles, the Wii makes your children work to succeed. If they want to be good at the games, they have to move their bodies and burn calories. Most computer games just need them to move their fingers a few inches, which does nothing for their health. The Wii is different, and it affects your children in a positive manner. A healthy amount of game time on Wii fit can burn up to a couple of hundred calories, for instance. There isn’t a console on the market that can maintain your kid’s health and fitness. They don’t need to run a marathon either because mental fitness is such as important. Any TV shows that are educational are good for their brains. And, that will help keep them sharp during the summer recess. A lot of children fall back regarding their education due to a long break. As a parent, it is your job to maintain their current level or raise them higher.
5. Watch What They Eat
It is so easy for any person to eat more when they don’t have a routine. So, kids are bound to be susceptible. The reason is that they don’t have a routine and get bored. Consequently, they head straight to the refrigerator for a snack. There are two options you can try. The first is to keep the fridge off limits so that they aren’t tempted to eat more. However, that is a little authoritarian and not many parents’ first choice. The second is a much kinder option. Instead of filling the fridge with junk food, fill it with healthy snacks. That way, they will only eat healthy food if they do have a snack. You might not control what they eat directly, yet you can control what goes in the refrigerator. Unless they want to do the grocery shopping, they will have to grin and bear their annoyance.
6. Get Your Garden In Shape
You need to make it easy for them to stay active. Children are like wild animals: they take the path of least resistance. So, if the remote is close by, they will turn on the TV instead of going for a bike ride. This is where your garden comes in handy. If you have one, you should keep it in good shape by mowing the lawn and keeping it clean. Hopefully, that will encourage them to play in the garden instead of sitting in their rooms. If that isn’t enough, make the garden a cool place to hang out. The trick is to buy a Flexible Flyer play park swing set or soccer goals or whatever they like to play. Then, they will instinctively go out in the garden to play. Even though they like to play video games and watch TV, they also like to relieve the boredom.
7. Go On Vacation
The summer holidays are not just for the children – they are for the whole family. You need time off work so that you can recharge your batteries, and the kids need a change. Spending the entire holidays in the same neighborhood isn’t going to be healthy, so a holiday is very important. Plus, holidays are always active and fun of fun because they can do things they wouldn’t be able to at home. For instance, they can spend all day swimming in the pool. Or, you might spend all day walking around the local sights and attractions. Walking is as good a way as any to keep them active because it burns hundreds of calories. Vacations are great for parents and children alike, and you want to book yours ASAP.
8. Take Them With You When You Leave The House
This is such as simple tactic that it almost sounds too easy. Still, the basic techniques are the best ones when it comes to keeping kids active. All you have to do is bring your children with you when you leave the house. When they help you run errands, they spend their day on their feet and exercising. Okay, it might not be a 10k jog, but the distance isn’t the issue. The issue is keeping them going active until they can go back to school! It doesn’t matter whether you are going shopping or posting a letter – make sure they are by your side.
9. Organize Events
Do you have time off while they are on their summer vacation? The thought of it might make you a bit squeamish because the summer is a long time to spend with your kids! However, think of it as a blessing in disguise. By being at home, you can organize events and activities to keep them active. When they are alone, they won’t do much. But, because you aren’t at work, they don’t have a choice. Tell them that you are going to a theme park or going to watch a movie or something productive that is enjoyable. That way, they won’t fight you on the subject. Also, let them bring a friend so that they don’t feel as awkward.
10. Be Consistent
It is easy to let your standards slip, especially as the summer draws to a close. But, that isn’t good for your kids. You need to be consistent from the first day to the last. That way, they will spend their time more productively. Also, it will help in the future. If they know you stick to your morals, they won’t try as hard to disobey the next time around.
What are some ways that you are planning to implement to keep your kids active this summer? Share them in the comments below!