How can you encourage your child to be active?

How can you encourage your child to be active?

Physical activity is extremely important for all ages. And while adults can understand and be convinced by the health benefits, it's not quite so simple with children. Luckily, youngsters have huge amounts of energy right from the beginning, love to discover the world and are active in their own way. The parent's role is to maintain these activity levels so that in the future, it becomes second nature. How can you do this? Through play, of course!

Being active outside in the fresh air

It's no secret that currently everyone is talking about outdoor activity as the best type of exercise. And about the fact that you should take kids on walks as often as possible, because it's hugely beneficial not only for their muscles, but also immunity.

This is, of course, very true; however, before you decide to go for a walk – especially in the autumn and winter months – check the air quality in your area. Remember that walking or playing outdoors when the air quality is poor is not a good idea. In such cases, it's better to stay home.

Two children hugging a tree in the forest, they're happy

A walk with your child, or stopping every few steps?

The air quality is good, and the weather is great. So how can you encourage your little one to go for a walk if they don't necessarily want to take advantage of a beautiful day?

Let's start with the fact that parents often forget one important thing: small children get tired more easily. Little legs and feet quickly start to hurt, and to top it all off, kids get distracted by everything on walks. A car driving by, a dog on a walk, and even rocks, sticks and puddles. All of this means that parents often feel frustrated, and walks tend to resemble standing in one spot rather than an actual walk.

Remember that this is completely normal for youngsters! Try to look at it from their perspective. We – adults – are always rushing. But our children aren't, so they don't know why their parents are always hurrying them along. Try to enjoy the little things – a bouquet of daisies, blowing dandelions... And when your toddler gets tired and their feet start to hurt, why not suggest a bike?

How can you encourage your child to go on walks?

Sometimes, children simply get bored on walks – they start to whine that their legs or feet are sore. To move past this, you can just suggest something new. This can be:

  • playing tag,
  • looking for new types of flowers,
  • riding a bike.

In particular, riding a balance bike is very beneficial for youngsters. At the age of approximately two years, children begin to develop the motor skills necessary to learn to pedal. Before this time, you can support their gross motor skills by riding a balance bike.

Balance bikes support the development of motor coordination and balance, which is necessary for learning to ride a bike with pedals. In addition, they strengthen muscles and teach stability. And most importantly, they're lots of fun! Kids quickly get the hang of the principles of riding a balance bike. They naturally balance the body, supporting their natural progress.

Tricycles are also an alternative. They strengthen leg muscles and teach your toddler to pedal, allowing your child to get comfortable with the idea of pedalling (and understanding the relationship between them pedalling and the trike moving).

Dad securing a bike helmet on his daughter, the girl is smiling, the sun is shining outside

Of course, we understand that sometimes parents don't have the energy after work or after a difficult day to go and play tag with their youngster.

That's why tricycles are not only great fun for children, but also a lifeline for parents. You don't really have to do much, just go and keep an eye on your toddler while they play by riding. You can also ride to a playground, where your little one will play while you sit down and relax. Your child will go wild while you keep an eye on them with minimal effort required.

What if your youngster is younger? It's good to consider this earlier, when purchasing a tricycle. You can then choose a trike with a parent handle, which at the early stages of development will allow your child to rest and get used to riding. An example of this type of trike is AVEO by Kinderkraft – the seat can be turned to face the parent, meaning even nine-month-old children can enjoy a trip on the trike!

Physical activity is the key to correct development

Currently, most of the world is facing many lifestyle diseases, including obesity. To protect your child from the increased risk of various illnesses, you need to start early. Luckily, this doesn't mean you have to give them lectures about healthy eating and sport straight away.

You must lead by example, which will also benefit you. Move with your child (even on walks or a bike) and eat healthily, and you'll build the foundation for positive behaviours and following the food pyramid in the future, the basis of which is... movement.

And by the way, doing physical activity together in the fresh air will strengthen your bond – this is priceless and will last for many years. And everything can start from one simple trike. Good luck!

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