Before you give in to your kids’ demands to vegetate in front of the TV or spend hours playing video games over the weekend, try these ideas to help keep them active.
To support their health and well-being, remember to ensure that your children follow a healthy, balanced diet. You could also consider filling any nutritional gaps with a good daily multivitamin.
There are good quality chewy multivitamins for kids on the market.
1. Playground fun: Make a list of parks in your city, and aim to try one out every couple of weeks. Pack a picnic basket, take hats and sunblock and have a great time outdoors.
Not only will the fresh air do them good, but jungle gyms provide excellent exercise for children of all ages. Older children could take along their bikes or skateboards or set up a touch-rugby game with friends.
2. Jump around: Remember how much fun you had as a kid jumping on a trampoline? It still is… and now most major cities offer indoor trampoline arenas where you pay for a set amount of time. Jumping on a trampoline is not just great fun, but offers many health benefits such as improving balance, agility, coordination and spatial awareness.
3. Gardening: There may be water restrictions but it doesn’t mean you can’t teach your kids how to garden. Set up some grey-water systems and get the kids involved with watering your garden every morning and evening, and give them a patch of the garden to do their own thing. All you need are a few implements and a hat and sunblock.
4. Walk the dog: If you have a dog, get your children involved in walking your pet every day. Explore the neighbourhood with them and if you don’t have a dog, ask a neighbour or friend if you can walk theirs. It’s good exercise and it also teaches children responsibility.
5. Park Run fun: Most major cities have at least one Park Run every week; they’re free and very family orientated. If your children aren’t old enough to run, walk it with them.
6. Geocaching: This is treasure hunting on a bigger scale, combining technology and outdoor fun. Basically it involves searching for hidden containers outdoors, called geocaches. This is done by following Global Positioning System (GPS) coordinates. According to Geocachers of South Africa (GoSA), there are “more than 12 000 active geocaches across South Africa, and during 2015 more than 9 000 teams of geocachers (the people doing the finding and hiding) from across the world found geocaches in South Africa”.