Keeping Kids Active at Home by Getting Creative in Your Own Backyard
Just like adults, kids need to be active for their health and wellbeing. But just how much do you they need to incorporate physical activity and why is it important?
As a parent and nutritionist I have learned of and experienced the many benefits of kids active, including:
- Improved fitness
- Strengthening muscles and bones
- Promoting a healthy and natural weight
- Better sleep patterns
- Improved self-esteem and confidence
- Improved concentration, balance and flexibility
- Skill development
- Reducing the risk of developing type 2 diabetes
- Building social skills
- Overall improved wellbeing
Australian Physical Activity guidelines recommend children aged 5 to 12 years get at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity per day. A large percentage of kids are not getting enough physical activity and many spending more than the recommended amount of time on screens (TV’s, computers, phones, iPads and other electronic devices).
School-age kids seem to be spending more time in front of screens, so its important to balance this with physical activities for their mental and physical health.
Keeping kids active can contribute to being healthier, happier and socially engaged.
Whether you are encouraging your kids to be more active or maybe you are like myself, and have energetic kids you are trying to keep up with, here are some simple and practical ideas on keeping kids active at home by getting creative in your own backyard (where memories are made).
- Get wheeling! Skating, scooting or riding a bike. Kids love wheels in motion. This can be a fun family activity as well.
- Backyard sports. Volleyball, soccer, backyard cricket, kicking or throwing a ball, catch. These are great family friendly games to play. If your kids are young it can be fun to swap typical sporting equipment for a twist. Such as balloon volleyball.
- Create an obstacle course with indoor or outdoor household items.
- Learn a new skill such as hula hooping, cart wheels or balancing.
- Wheelbarrow walks. Pair up and have one person hold onto the other’s ankles as they use their hands to walk forward. This one is great for their core stability too.
- Party games! Don’t keep party games just for birthdays. Play games such as tunnel ball, duck duck goose, what’s the time Mr wolf, egg and spoon races and many other active party games.
- Chasing bubbles.
- Backyard races – relays, animal races, pillowslip sack races.
- Frisbee or catch.
- Dancing! Put some fun tunes on and get moving. You can also incorporate games like ‘freeze’.
- Invest in long term physical fun with a trampoline! These are a great way to encourage physical activity and lots of fun. Keep reading below for my tips on choosing the right the trampoline for your kids
To help make it happen try these tips to incorporate more movement:
- Make it enticing, set up the equipment where they can see it and easily access it.
- Be a role model. Get involved.
- Turn off the TV. If you use electronic devices keep an eye on the time they are used for or have designated periods they can be used.
- Play more with your kids. This is so important beyond physical exercise by for building strong, positive relationships.
- Plan for it. If you have a busy schedule it might help to plan in physical activities into your weekly routine.
Choosing the right trampoline
If you follow me on Instagram you would have seen me set up our new trampoline. With hundreds of requests to share more about the trampoline I chose for my kids, I’m answering some of your questions below on which trampoline is best for kids. One of our favourite ways for keeping kids active at home by getting creative in your own backyard.
When looking for the best trampoline I would suggest looking at these key features:
- Safety and product quality
- How much weight the trampoline can take
- Easy to assemble and after purchase support (including warranty)
As a parent and with the excitement of sharing the joy of owning a trampoline for our family I set out to research the best trampoline for our kids.
After careful consideration I chose an Australian owned brand, Vuly trampolines. Locally designed in Brisbane, they also test their products to meet safety standards to create a high quality and safe product.
The Vuly trampoline is also perfect for our local weather conditions and being outdoors, having been tested to withstand heavy showers and exposure to sun.
Other highlights of the Vuly trampoline compared to others I researched are the strong, no gap netting (no caught fingers of looser mesh), no gap between the net and mat and a taller enclosure.
Safety is of course a natural concern for a parent and I was happy to see the Vuly has all springs external to the enclosure so when you fall you can only land on soft landings such as the net or mat. Their testing measures were also impressive!
In terms of weight the Vuly trampoline can also take up to 150kg which was a standout feature for our family also.
In conjunction with being physically active a healthy diet is an important part of your child’s overall health. For healthy kid friendly recipe ideas head to our kids recipe section or check out our family friendly recipes in our Nourish Members recipe membership or recipe books.
I hope these tips help and inspire you and your family to be creatively active in your own backyard, where memories are made.
This blog post is in proud partnership with Vuly.
Note: These suggestions and experiences are my own. Please seek medical advice if you are unsure what is right for your child’s age and requirement of physical exercise. This post is aimed to provide inspiration to encourage a healthy, active lifestyle and not prescribed advice.