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Saturday, October 21, 2017

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Easy Active Options for Kids

Karen Stanton
Active Families Advisor
Sport Bay of Plenty

The Ministry of Health says a child needs sixty minutes of physical activity a day. This will help your child develop strong muscles, bones and joints, develop a healthy heart and lungs, maintain a healthy weight, move with balance and flexibility and build self-confidence and social skills.                         

Some children love to be active and their parents have no problems getting them move for sixty minutes a day, however some parents struggle to encourage their children. There are many excuses that children come up with for being sedentary - here are some ways to combat the excuses.

It’s raining

Play inside, here are some ideas

- Use tape and mark out hopscotch on the floor

- Blow up a balloon and see if you can keep it up in the air using your hand, foot or nose

- Learn to juggle with scarves or ribbons

- Make some poi and make up a routine or roll up magazines and play stick games

- How many forward and backward rolls can you do in the hallway

- Dance

- Your skin is waterproof - jumping in puddles is great fun.

It’s too cold

- Put on a jersey and jump on the tramp or have a game of tag, any game where you are running around will warm you up quickly

- Wait until night time, wrap up warm, take a torch and go for a walk - its far more exciting than in the day time, you could even look for glow worms

It’s too hot

- Games that involve water or a pool are the best like tag with the hose

- Running through a spray of water

I don’t have time

- Walk, bike or scooter to or from school

- If you catch a bus to school get off two stops early and walk home

- Do something active during TV ads - sit ups, hopping, skipping or dancing

I don’t want to

- Make it fun - try to match activities with your child’s likes and abilities

- Encourage your child to try out new activities with their friends

- Make one night a week family game night - let the kids choose what game should be played that week. Some suggestions are soccer, touch, stuck in the mud, 123 home, egg and spoon races. You could have family night at the park or beach for a change

- For good behavior or as a reward give game vouchers. For example give a voucher for a game of ‘peg wrestling’ - attach pegs to your clothing, stand facing your partner. Try to get the pegs off each other as fast as you can. Or ‘peg chase’ - put pegs on everyone and run around for a certain period of time and see who can collect the most pegs. Or ‘sponge tag’ - where you play tag with wet sponges

Praise and reward your child for being active. Be positive about their achievements big or small and reward them for persistence and taking part. Whatever you decide to do - if children are involved make it fun!

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The Lovely Mount Maunganui beach. Photo: Denis Player.

Send us your photos from around the Bay of Plenty. kendra@thesun.co.nz