Kids like to move it, move it...
Our bodies are made to move. We are made to run, jump and skip. Young children explore their world with their bodies; they taste, touch, pull, push, stomp and run constantly. Although there are times when we ask our children to “Sit Still!” as parents, we can (and should) be celebrating all their natural moving and shaking. In fact, we likely need to be doing more moving and shaking ourselves…right? Right!
According to Active for Life (www.activeforlife.com, 2015), only 7% of kids aged 5-11 are active enough. Yes, you read that right, only 7%! I don’t know about you, but that number scares me.
Even though we have heard the experts tell us (time and time again) to eat well and move more, it is clear that Canadians are becoming more sedentary, more obese, and less healthy. These unhealthy behaviours are being seen in our children as well.
There are many ways to change our habits as a community but I’ve chosen these 3 things for you to consider when planning activities to help your child and family be active:
- It has to be SOCIAL – this is one of the most important factors in keeping kids active. Children participate in the things that their friends and peers are doing and drop out more often when there is no social group for them.
- It has to be FUN – unstructured play is essential for young children to explore their world. There has to be time incorporated for them to use their imagination but also enough time for them to learn new skills.
- Be a role model – We as parents must make physical activity (enough that makes us all huff and puff daily) a part of our family’s routines. Children really do follow our lead.
Do you wonder if your child has learned the basic skills to start their physical literacy journey? Here is a list and description of 9 skills your child needs to learn (by about the age of 7) to have every opportunity to be active for life: http://activeforlife.com/9-ways-physically-literate/
Let’s make a deal. Make it a family priority to move more and experiment with activities and find the ones that your children like best. There is only one way to ensure your children are equipped to fully participate in activities for life, and that is to have opportunities to learn to move from a very young age!
Good luck! Do you have some great ideas? I’d love to hear them!
Manager, Make Children First
Mother of 2
Physical literacy is different from physical activity, and is a relatively new term that many of us are just learning about. Find out more here: http://activeforlife.com/what-is-physical-literacy/