With video games and modern technology it can be difficult to motivate kids to get outside. We have listed great examples on how to get your little ones moving!
It's the same every day: the moment your kids come home from school, they're immediately glued to the iPad and video games.
All this screen time may seem harmless, but research shows that using too much technology at a young age can change the way children's brains develop. It can also keep kids from getting enough exercise. This has contributed to an 11% rise in childhood obesity since 1980.
Luckily, you can take steps right now to keep your kids active, healthy, and happy. Getting them involved in extracurricular activities is a great place to start.
When you motivate kids to get away from the screen and out into the world, they'll make new friends, gain self-esteem, and maybe even get better grades!
Sometimes finding the right activity can be a challenge, so we've got a few useful tips to motivate kids to get involved in something new!
- Match Extracurricular Activities with Your Kids' Interests
Does your son love to act out fantasy games? Maybe acting classes would give him an outlet for his creative energy.
Does your daughter have a real competitive edge? She might just be the soccer team's next star player.
The most important thing in finding extracurricular activities for your children is to make sure that they reflect their interests. A good start is to talk to your children about new activities they might like to try.
If they're not sure what they'd like to get involved in, you can watch what your children do at home. This can give some clues as to what extracurricular activities they might enjoy.
- Do Your Research
Most schools will offer extracurricular activities for students to get involved in. These can be a great option for kids to connect with their peers and be a part of the school community. But in many cases, the school's offerings are only the beginning!
If you look in your wider community, you can find a whole range of teams and groups that are looking for new members.
Check out local dance schools, sports teams, theater groups, art classes, and volunteering opportunities. These will both build your kids' self-confidence and keep them active.
You might even find activities you've never before considered. Trampolining, anyone?
Dance is another great way to combine artistic expression with physical activity. There's lots more information about the benefits of a dance education online.
- Motivate Kids to Choose Activities for Themselves
Dance classes! Sports! Music lessons! Acting classes! Sometimes there are so many activities to choose from that picking the right one can seem overwhelming.
The good news is that you can take a trial-and-error approach.
Many teams and clubs will let your child attend a trial session before officially signing up. This can be a great way for your kids to explore new interests.
Once your kids have tried a few different activities, ask them which ones they liked the most. They'll know best what they want to do. Also, by giving them a chance to make the final decision, you'll be boosting their self-confidence.
- Encourage Kids to Share What They've Achieved and Learned
After each practice or class, talk to your kids about what they did in the session. Ask them what they're proudest of and what they're excited about learning in the future.
Then, when you get home, it can be fun to ask them to demonstrate new moves or techniques that they learned. Not only does this keep them active, it also reinforces new skills.
You can even make this into an interactive activity, where your kid is the teacher and you are the student. Ask them to show you how to do the new skills they learned.
- Balance Your Kids' Time
Once your kids have found an extracurricular activity they like, it's important to keep them motivated to continue. Sometimes kids have a hard time balancing school and after-school activities.
To keep up their motivation, make sure that they're not doing more activities than they can handle. Make sure, too, that each activity has a manageable time commitment.
- Let Your Kids Change Their Minds
Sometimes things don't go according to plan. Let's say your daughter has been to a few sessions of soccer practice, and she just isn't having fun.
She might not be connecting with the other kids on the team. She might feel that soccer isn't the sport for her. That's okay!
Make sure your kids know that they don't have to continue with an activity they don't enjoy. If you try to force them to keep participating, they might just end up resenting you. They might also avoid other extracurricular activities in the future.
Don't make your child feel like a quitter for leaving an activity behind. Instead, tell them how proud you are that they took a chance and tried something new.
Then take this as an opportunity to explore other activities that might be a better fit.
- Be Positive and Supportive
It doesn't matter if your kid is the team captain or star of the show, all that matters is that they're trying their best! To keep your kids motivated, it's important to always keep up a positive attitude about their accomplishments.
Let your children know that you're proud of the effort they're making. Praise them for practicing.
If they ever feel discouraged, remind them that trying matters more than winning. Help them focus on the progress they've made.
Kids are often under pressure to be perfect, so it's important to keep their extracurricular activities a place for fun.
Now It's Time for Some Fun!
When you motivate kids to get involved in extracurricular activities, you're expanding their minds and keeping them active. They'll have fun, make friends, and learn skills for success later in life.
You'll want to make sure that you, too, have all the tools you need to keep up with your children's active lifestyle. That's where we come in. Check out our range of workout wear, meal plans, and workouts to outfit yourself for an active life, even during pregnancy!