For most, this past winter was a loonnngggg one indeed. All of us -- kids and adults alike -- probably spent way too many days inside. I'm generally not a betting person but in this case, I'm pretty confident that nearly everyone is eager to get outside (or at the very least, get their kids outside again on a regular basis).
So, what are some ideas to promote health and fitness this spring?
Organized Sports Leagues
Spring brings the return of outdoor sports like t-ball, baseball, softball, soccer, and track. These are all great sources of physical activity and the chance to play with other kids to learn teamwork.
Individual Sports and Lessons
If your kids aren't ready for sports or you don't like the competitive aspect, spring is also the season for individual sports like tennis and golf. Sign your children up for lessons, if they're beginners or don't want to join a team. Lessons still provide physical activity and help children build confidence.
Pickup Games of Catch and Basketball
Sports don't have to be organized events but can be unplanned happenings with friends and family. These can also be great ways to spend fun times with your kids.
Games in Parks, Playgrounds, or Backyards
We can't forget the traditional games like hide-and-go-seek, tag, or double Dutch, which can involve hours of running and moving. Similarly, playground equipment like slides promote climbing and monkey bars develop arm strength. These are all great sources of fun, physical activity for kids.
Biking can be great exercise and a fun activity that the whole family can do together. Some kids might opt for skateboards or razor scooters. For any of these, make sure they use the appropriate safety gear.
Organized Walks and Races
Either of these is a good form of exercise. They're also great ways to spend time with your kids, to bond and to serve as a positive example (we know kids model adult behavior). The added bonus is that many of these events are associated with a specific cause, which can teach your kids to make a difference.
Visit a Zoo, National Park, Historical Site, or Local Attraction
These generally all provide plenty of walking as well as good, hands-on opportunities to learn. Topics may include animals and their habitats, American history (e.g., Boston's Freedom Trail), government, or simply local history like the oldest home in town or the birthplace of their grandparents. It's a great chance for you to talk -- in fact, you're almost forced to talk -- and get some exercise.
Remember all that pent-up energy your kids had back in February and March? Get them outside this spring and get rid of their "cabin fever" very quickly!
Of course, spring can also bring its share of rainy days. Plus, many kids wake up with the birds on weekend mornings, hours before you even want to contemplate getting out of bed. Don't forget about your "go-to" indoor activities from the winter… things like dance parties, yoga, swimming, or sports at a local gym.
If you're in a pinch and need a great, simple solution, go to AdventureToFitness.com and try out our program. We worked with leading educators, doctors, and childhood development experts to develop a solution to get kids moving while teaching them about health and fitness. The "secret sauce" is that each episode and its accompanying material are filled with educational content from the specific story, including history, geography, and vocabulary words. Over 100,000 teachers across the country use Adventure to Fitness with their students for indoor PE/recess, activity breaks, curriculum supplements, and rewards. As one principal stated, "Kids exercising while learning… how cool is that?!"
What are some of your favorite spring activities to keep your children active? Share your thoughts on the Scholastic Parents Facebook page or find us on Twitter, @AdventureToFit, to continue the conversation!