To be honest, we’ve all had our fair share of junk food and coronavirus couch time over the past few months, it’s definitely time to get back into the groove of staying active. Staying active as a family doesn’t need to be hard or expensive. I’m pretty lucky because my girls are both naturally active. Of course, they have their fair dose of couch and screen time, but they do genuinely enjoy getting out and active.
Why is it important to keep your family active?
The benefits of being active are not only physical the mental rewards are huge, especially for kids. Kids who stay active can have increased cognitive abilities, less behavioural issues and generally have more of a positive attitude. The above is certainly the case for my girls.
There are plenty of inexpensive ways to keep your kids and family active, some of our favourite things to do;
Here in Perth, we are blessed with an abundance of family-friendly bike paths that also double as scooter paths. Most suburbs have a good array of well-kept, dual lane paths, however, if you want to make a day of it you could venture into the City or across to South Perth with a packed lunch for a family picnic and cycling adventure.
Getting your kids involved in gardening or creating a veggie patch provides some important life skills and lessons about where food comes from. We’ve had a couple of attempts at growing veggies, the only success we really had was growing some giant Italian cucumbers – which was an interesting experience in itself, we definitely aren’t green thumbs but there was loads of fun had digging, planting and attempting to make Italian cucumbers palatable. If you have a smaller yard, you could try using planters of pots for your veggies.
Although the weather in winter can be a little touch and go, we still have plenty of days which are sunny and perfect for spending outdoors. My girls both play weekly basketball and have missed getting onto the court over the past few months, we’re lucky enough to have a basketball ring in our backyard so it’s been a good time for my husband to do some one on one coaching, it’s almost kind of taken their mind off the fact that they’ve missed an entire season of sport.
Messy outdoor play is a great way to stimulate young minds, I dislike sand in my house and a messy back or front yard as much as the next parent but when your kids are amusing themselves for hours on end, I can relax the OCD. We don’t have a fancy mud kitchen (although we’d love one!) we just have an array of plastic bowls, old spoons and containers that are perfect for making those mud pies.
Leave the car at home if you’re lucky enough to live near school or daycare, walking or riding is a great way to kick start your brain, taking in the sights and sounds whilst learning a bit about road safety makes a great start to the day.
Active screen time
Yes, there is such a thing as active screen time. It’s screen time that has a purpose and is responsible for waking up your body and mind. If you have a child who’s in primary school then there’s no doubt you’ve heard of Go Noodle. It’s a great online series of videos aimed at helping kids to stay active. The first time I heard about Go Noodle was when my girls were busy in the playroom practising mindfulness and their yoga poses, that they had learnt from Go Noodle. Yes, you read that correctly. I think I’ve attempted yoga maybe once and only recently started to practice mindfulness. Yet, my girls have been experiencing the joy of yoga and mindfulness in their classrooms via a daily dose of Go Noodle. This cool online platform is definitely having a positive impact on my girls’ minds, we particularly enjoy the flow channel.
Dance like there’s nobody watching
We all love a little silly lounge room dance party, I’m not quite into some of the lyrics to the songs my kids want to listen too (yep, its official I’ve started to resemble my own parents) Enter. Kidz Bop. Literally “sung by kids for kids,” think kid-friendly versions all the latest music, I must admit it’s a little weird to listen to at first, but it grows on you. We listen through Spotify but if you want to be super fancy and learn some new moves for the school disco, you can dance along to their fun youtube videos.
Creating healthy family habits and spending time together certainly has an amazingly positive impact on our family, helping us find our zen and learn new things about each other. Share how you and your family stay active together, use the #perthhappenings