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What do parents and teachers have to say about physical activity?

Parents discuss challenges facing young children and physical activity
Ways to make children zero to five more active? I would say, personally, that you take them to the park, if you’re a parent. Get them outside. Get them running around. The best things in life are free. You just need to try and get outside and do things with your kids. The kids love it. I think it’s good to keep variety– so mixing it up a bit so they don’t get bored with what they’re doing. Play balls with them– kick soccer balls, footballs, balling outside. Walking. Take them swimming. Just to get them to play games like wheelbarrows– you know, wheelbarrow races. Grab their legs. Get them to use their hands.
Or they might do the Chicken Dance, or they might do the Hokey Pokey. Jumping. You know, get kids outside. Jump from one stepping stone to another. Or put things down. Sometimes we put sticks on the ground, and we try and jump over the sticks. My daughter can’t jump, but she tries to hop on one leg. But it still is getting out and just getting moving. There’s other little athletic-type clubs that they can join– gym, yoga. Try and do things incidentally. So when you’re going shopping, park a little bit further away in the car park so the kids are getting that extra bit of a walk.
So for example, you might have a special day where you might– I’ve done this as well– you get a yoga teacher in and teach them a few moves about their body and how to move their body. So rainy days, you can definitely get children active inside by doing their crafts, by doing playdough– getting them active with their hands, building fine motor skills. I like to get the kids moving at home just by putting on music and just saying, let’s just dance. We dance all around the house. Sometimes we do running races down the hallway. We put races into things like who can get to the bathroom first to brush their teeth.
Stuff like that that makes it fun for the kids. Get them moving their arms. Get them moving their legs.
You’re only limited to your imagination. Run through the tunnels with them– go up and down. Do everything. Yes, you get sore and it hurts sometimes. But that’s the whole fun of having kids is to be a kid with your kids.

We asked parents and teachers what they think about physical activity, its role in obesity prevention and strategies for encouraging young children to be active.

In this video parents and teachers discuss many challenges facing children engaging with adequate physical activity.

Conversation starter

  • Can you relate to any of the issues raised?
  • Do you agree or disagree with their opinions?
  • Have you had similar experiences or tried similar strategies?
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