Keeping the kids active: The importance of physical and mental wellbeing
Now that we’ve had a taste of Spring and we’re able to enjoy some of this fantastic weather, it’s the perfect time to get out in the garden or park and get moving!
After so many months of cold, dark evenings and being stuck indoors the kids might not be in the mood to get active but we all know how important exercise is not only to the physical wellbeing but also the mental wellbeing of children.
There is a tonne of research to show that exercise can help with children’s self-esteem, anxiety and also reduce the chances of teenage and early adulthood depression. Thanks to some fantastic little chemicals like serotonin, oxytocin and norepinephrine which all get released when we exercise, a run around in the garden or playing with their friends can do wonders to help lift children’s mood and develop key socialisation, empathy and resilience skills that they will take into their later life.
To make things easier for you we’ve put together our list of fun ways you can encourage your kids to be active.
1. Play a game of balloon football
It’s really as simple as it sounds; blow up a bunch of balloons and see who can keep it in the air the longest!
There is nothing kids love more than getting their hands dirty, we see it all the time in our Garden Club. So next time you’re at the garden centre or even just planting a few new flowers in your flowerbed why not encourage the kids to pick up a trowel and get stuck in too.
3. Pop the bubbles
Now this is definitely one for a nice sunny day! Order yourself a bubble machine, get it going in the garden and ask the kids to pop as many bubbles as they can. You’ll be surprised how many adults will want to get involved too!
4. Plan a treasure hunt
Do your kids have a sweet tooth or love a challenge? Try a treasure hunt either inside the house or across the garden. Leave toys or sweet treats in obscure places and get the kids started by giving them a clue about the first place. Include a clue at each spot which will help lead them to the next prize.
5. Build an obstacle course
I’m sure over the past year we’ve all got a ton of cardboard boxes lying around the house. Use these to build an obstacle course either inside or outside the house and see who can complete it the quickest.
6. Cooking and baking
While this isn’t necessarily exercise it’s a really important skill that kids can build in a receptive and safe environment. By getting involved in the cooking process they can build a better understanding of nutrition and food as well as appreciate all of the hard work that goes into cooking some of the things that they love to eat. Baking and decorating it’s also a great way to help give your kids the confidence to stretch themselves and also get the creative juices flowing.
A great way to make sure that your kids are excited about getting active is to get their input and also get them involved them involved in planning all of the fun activities that you want to do.
Looking for more inspiration? Click here to see our list of after-school activities http://bit.ly/HPActivities