In generations past, children were very active. Often employed in the home or fields of the family property, they were industrious by necessity. Children played outside and did physical chores to help their parents because the modern conveniences of today did not exist. They walked to and from school, had longer recess periods, and often walked wherever they went well into adolescence and even adulthood.
Today, children have the privilege of not having to grow up quickly and just be kids. While advancements have allowed children to not have to work at young ages, the overwhelming amount of technology is encouraging a sedentary lifestyle.
How can we keep young children active in an age that encourages them not to be? Providing engaging opportunities for activity is the best place to start.
Physical Activity as a Reward
Many children today no longer see physical activity such as play as a reward – and that needs to change. Giving children more opportunities to play outside during free time or in exchange for good behavior reinforces the idea that these activities are not only fun, but desirable. Many schools and children’s community programs are utilizing this approach in recent years, offering extended recess or active play sessions in exchange for good grades or behavior. It’s a win-win situation that encourages citizenship and scholastics without limiting physical fitness.
Bringing Learning and Play Together
Another great approach is the combining learning activities for kids with physical fitness. Many of today’s best museums and children’s centers offer exciting day programs, camps, and tours for children during school breaks or on evenings and weekends to give children a chance to both learn and grow physically. This gives students a chance to engage in learning that feels more like fun, outside the constraints of the classroom. It also combines that enjoyable learning experience with one that builds physical fitness – another win-win scenario!
Where can you find these programs? Organizations such as the Children’s Museum of Phoenix offer kids activities in Phoenix, Scottsdale, and other locations to keep your kids busy – and busy learning. These programs are designed to help students grow as scholars, athletes, and citizens, and are tailored to age groups to make them applicable and appropriate. For more information about these programs and how to sign your kids up, contact the museum today.