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Making exercise fun for kids!

Posted 23rd January, 2020

It’s hard to motivate ourselves sometimes isn’t it? We all know we should try and fit in some more steps every day, and try and make healthier food choices. But when it’s dark, cold, and generally quite wet outside, it’s easier said than done.

So if we struggle to get out and about ourselves, how can we motivate our littles ones to enjoy an active lifestyle? If they’re happily playing at home with toys, or sitting on the sofa watching their favourite programme, chances are they won’t welcome a walk that interrupts their fun. 

Whilst it’s good to have really chilled ‘pyjama days’, it’s important to recharge batteries and just spend time doing what we all enjoy, but it’s as important to get out there and keep our bodies moving.

So how do we make exercise more fun?

Here’s some free ideas for making exercise fun – without stressing anyone out!

  • A good pair of wellies is a great place to start – if your child has their favourite colour wellies, or some with Peppa Pig, a Disney princess or an Octonaut on, they are more likely to want to wear them… and take them out for a walk. Plus there is nothing more fun than jumping in muddy puddles.
  • Instead of saying ‘let’s go for a walk’ turn it into an adventure. ‘Let’s go for a treasure hunt’ is more likely to make a child want to take part. Create a list beforehand of things to find when you’re out and about such as a daffodil, blossom tree, dog, or green car, and there could even be a reward at the end.
  • Let your little one decide where to go for the ‘exercise’… plant the idea early in the day so it’s not a surprise, and let them choose. ‘Do you want to go to the park or the woods?’ will get a better reaction than ‘get your shoes on we’re going out for a walk’.
  • Play games while you’re out on a walk such as I-Spy or hide and seek. You could imagine you’re Goldilocks walking through the woods and go exploring, or you could choose your favourite superheroes and ‘save’ each other.
  • Cycling is a wonderful way to travel further and see more – if they’re too small for their own bike, seats that can attach to an adult’s bike are a relatively cheap option. Make riding a bike a family affair.
  • And don’t forget snacks and drinks, even with all of the fun, their little legs will tire before yours and healthy snacks are a great way to give them more energy.

What other ideas are there?

Then of course there’s the other options – the ones that cost money but deliver bags of fun, and exercise at the same time, such as: 

  • Swimming
  • Soft play
  • Trampolining
  • Ice-skating
  • Gymnastics
  • Sport classes
  • Dance classes

We’re lucky in Telford and throughout Shropshire that there is so much to do. 

If you want to stretch your horizons take a look at these brilliant, family-friendly walks throughout Shropshire http://www.shropshiresgreatoutdoors.co.uk/walking/family-walks/