With summer fast approaching, the time for dusting down the shorts and sunglasses might be right around the corner. But for kids, the summer season is inevitably about so much more than warmer weather. A sustained break from school can feel like forever, and the sense of freedom and excitement that precedes the official start of the vacation season is a lasting memory most of us can recall from our own time as youngsters.
Every parent wants their kids to be healthy, and it should come as no surprise that keeping active is one of the best ways to achieve this goal. With the summer break almost upon us, most parents need to fight the distractions of the Internet, games consoles and TV in favor of healthier, more energetic pursuits.
Sports are an age-old favorite for kids, and for parents looking to inspire a passion for fitness and activity. Sports are so diverse as to allow options that can capture the spirit and interest of the younger generation. From park sports like soccer, football and baseball through to athletics, swimming, and a variety of other games, sporting activities offer purpose and competitiveness to exercise - something young boys in particular feel drawn toward.
Arranging sporting activities or formal sports classes can be a great way to keep your kids amused, while making sure they are participating in something that is both socially and mentally stimulating. Structure is good in sport, and having the benefit of professional guidance can provide positive role models and structure around the activity.
Beyond outright sporting activities, there are challenges, tasks and trials that can be set up in and around the home to keep eager kids amused. Olympics-style multi-event games can be quickly thrown together with one or more friends, and again the competitive element means kids can quickly take to these kinds of activities. Or perhaps a walk in parklands or by the beach - a little more subtle, but nevertheless an equally interesting and different experience for kids to enjoy.
Your kids are never too young to get involved in physical activity, and it's never too early to worry about the health implications of a lack of exercise. The Little Gym Franchise, for example, works with kids from just 4 months with the support of their parents. This can introduce physical activity at the earliest possible stage in the child's life, which can help lead to healthier adult lives.
Keeping kids fit and active over the summer is about more than just staving off boredom. Being fit and healthy in later life is all about leading the right type of lifestyle, and those who engrain these behaviors in their children early will create the right start in life for their health and well-being. As parents, it's up to us to set the tone for how our children should live. And by developing more active lifestyle habits early on, your children will have something they can carry through to adulthood.