Easy ways to incorporate physical activity into your child’s play

Outside activities for your kids.

With the warm weather you can have more picnics outside. Have you healthy snacks and meals on a picnic table, either at your home or at a park. Michigan State University Extension suggest using large sheets of paper (you can get end rolls from local printing shops in your area) for the table cloth and have the kids draw on it afterwards. They can draw large pictures on it with crayons or chalk. They also enjoy using large chalk on the sidewalks. They can also use washable paint on their feet and have them march on the paper or sidewalk! Bring out the brushes and buckets of water and let them paint things with the water. Spray bottles are also a fun activity. Let the go at it and spray water on everything. Weaving yarn or ribbon through a fence having them make their own design.

Bring a water table or small pool or tub outside and add a little water and sand to it and let the child’s imagination begin (just like at the beach). Have them build castles, rivers or lakes and add more water. Mud solutions is a favorite with kids! Have the hose nearby for easy cleanup! Go for walks along rail trails or in the woods. Have the child talk about what they see. As you can see, physical activity can be added into any activity. Just let your and your child’s imagination run wild and the body will follow!

The experts say we should be doing 30 to 60 minutes of exercise per day. Don’t get overwhelmed, we can do exercise 10 minute sessions. You should always be able to talk while you are exercising or you may be pushing it too hard. Regular exercise can reduce your risk of diabetes, heart disease and cancer.

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