Encouraging Children to be Active

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.

Trying #sailing for the first time on #holiday #proudmummy x

A photo posted by Karen (@missingsleep) on Jul 24, 2015 at 11:11am PDT

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


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!

Frisbee Golf 

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

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