It’s pretty tempting for parents to surrender their devices for the summer and sit the children up in front of them for the holidays. So much so, that studies show that children’s fitness levels plummet near 75% during the holidays. But how do you resist that temptation of the sedentary summer?
Government guidelines mandate, children should have at least 30 minutes of their 60 minutes of daily exercise, in the outdoors. You can use the other 30 minutes as creatively as you like. However, despite best-laid plans, many children have missed out on getting active during school time. Team sports have reduced by nearly 25% and self-directed play, by more than 10%. This summer, we are on the hunt to get you and your kids as active as possible and here are a few tricks of the trade!
1. Ditch the devices (sort of)
You can go down the road of ditching the devices altogether, but another way to look at it, is to look at devices and use them more creatively. There are many child-friendly apps, YouTube videos and TV like CBeebies, designed to get children active. Joe Wicks & Jump Start Jonny for example that have helped children across the country get active in their own homes. Dance trends such as Zumba have easy-to-follow online videos for them to watch and emulate.
2. Hula hoops are your best friends
Active toys are great during the holidays. Great fun but also a far healthier option to playing Nintendo DS on the sofa. Think frisbees, balls, building blocks, skipping ropes, hula hoops and bean bags. Toys like this can improve hand-eye coordination, using throwing, catching and jumping but their experience is all their own. They can throw, catch, drop, and roll, as much as they like whilst getting that heart rate up. Since it’s similar to what they would be doing at school, you can reduce any loss of fitness in the holidays in a familiar and helpful way.
3. Change your backdrop
Explore your local area. Visit local landmarks. Find some not-so-local landmarks. As a family or independently with friends, you can explore new environments, relatively inexpensively. Walking, jogging, cycling, rollerblading, and scooting can tire them out and help them get to know their environments in a healthy way.
Parks are especially useful because there are plenty of varying terrain to enjoy. This can make a game of hide and seek far more exciting. Mulch, grass, and tarmac with traditional game markings are great ways to stimulate their imagination. Even small grassy patches can be used to practice cartwheels or simply for running around a while. The environment doesn’t have to be alien for it to be different from your home. And a difference can really stimulate their imaginations.
4. Helping around the house
Not exactly the easiest thing to sell to children, but getting them involved from a young age, can help those skills stick well into adulthood. Most importantly, helping around the house is a load off your back. House chores are essential for learning some independence, and you’ll thank us when they can wash their own clothes at 18! Bringing down their washing or helping to fold it and put away, to picking up their toys or rubbish around the house. It’ll keep them moving and teach them a respect for their home.
5. Sign up with your local Ballers
…and walk to your local session! A nice brisk walk can get them ready for some ball skills and Ballers Academy is perfect for tots, younger and older kids. We love it but then, we’re biased!
At Ballers, you’ll find weekly academies and holiday sessions for boys and girls from ages 2 to 12. With all abilities catered to and prices as low as £6 a session, you’ll be well on your way to smashing activity goals this summer!