6 Ways to Teach Your Child to be Active for Life

These days, kids are spending more hours sitting at a computer then being active outside. Inactivity can have a dramatic impact on your child's health. Teach your kids the importance of staying active and healthy with these six tips.

Encourage physically strenuous activity. Young children should accumulate at least one hour of daily physical activity--running, jumping, climbing, lifting, pedaling vigorously, etc. Motivate your kids by your own example and play games or do chores with them.

Help your child increase their endurance and stamina. Stamina comes with effort and increased exertion over time. Some children will naturally go and go, using every ounce of effort they have. Others need to be encouraged to exert themselves and stretch their capabilities.

When your child plays with others, encourage games that will get all of the kids physically involved. Some group games involve a high level of activity, others are mostly waiting for turns and watching. Think of ways to adapt play to increase activity. For example, divide a large group into smaller groups so children can have more frequent turns.

You can be active indoors too. Try to turn learning activities into active opportunities. For example, when asking your child what he/she learned or read in school, ask them to act out the answer instead of just discussing it.

Engage your child's senses. Young children are sensory learners. They need to engage all of their senses to truly process information. Consider activities that reach beyond seeing and hearing to involve your child in touching and tasting.

Explore new physical skills with your child. Children like to challenge themselves and try new things. As parents, we sometimes overprotect our children from this and hinder their exploration and development. Instead, encourage your children to practice challenging tasks.

It's easy to keep your child active, and it will help them become active and healthy adults. Chances are, it will be fun quality time spent together!

To learn how KinderCare Learning Centers can deliver a true educational advantage for your child, call 1-877-KINDERCARE or visit www.kindercare.com.

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