My children seem to be quite faddish with after school sports clubs, they sign up, stay a short while then usually quit after I have bought some expensive gear needed for the activity! They have sampled gymnastics, karate, football, rugby and kayaking so far, there are not a huge amount of activities left to try in our area. Thankfully they do stick at swimming (with only the occasional grumble!), so hopefully if I encourage more physical exercise at home it will not matter that they have left all the other clubs. I think it’s very important to offer replacement activities so their stamina does not suffer.
I worry we are not particularly good role models for the boys as neither of us are particularly sports orientated, to the point we do not even watch it on TV which might be what initially gets children interested in competitive sports. We try and incorporate exercise into our lives with long walks with the dog and geocaching as the caches usually involve a bit of a hike and the boys are motivated to see what might be hidden inside so keep going for a considerable distance.
At home they will kick a ball about with dad, but the thought of regular training and being obliged to go to weekend football matches just does not appeal to them. I find my children sleep much better if they have been outdoors exercising, so I am going to get a few bits at home to supplement the activities that have fallen to the wayside. I want activities they can do without feeling frustrated; karate was abandoned because my eldest struggled to remember the kata moves. If organised classes do not interest your child you need to ensure they are having enough active time elsewhere. Here are a few suggestions, please comment with additional ideas I would love more inspiration!
I would like my boys to try playing basketball; it’s the ideal sport to help with balance and co-ordination. They would need to learn to concentrate so they aim the basketball through the net. I have just ordered the Haro Basketball Play Set part of the outdoor toys at House of Fraser, at £29.99 reduced from £49.99 its an inexpensive way to get your child interested in a sport. The great thing about basketball is you do not need much to get started.
Host your own sports day
Get some medals to spur on your children and make a day of it, giving them little challenges inside and outside the house perhaps inviting a few of their friends round too. They could have an obstacle course, an egg and spoon race and a hula-hoop contest. Use what you have already so it’s a cheap but fun day for everyone!
Make your own version of this fun game, if you have a Frisbee or two at home already, make a few targets to aim through perhaps using hula-hoops if you have nothing else suitable and keep score of how many attempts before you make it.
Children aged between 5 – 18 need at least one hour of exercise a day according to the NHS website so it really is important to get your children off screens and getting energetic!