What Do You Do to Keep Your Kids Active?
Guest Blogger: Kate Marsh Lord of The Shopping Mama
We’re halfway through the summer and will be back to school before you know it. The return to the school year routine is a welcome one around my house for many reasons. Obviously, the kids thrive when they know what to expect day after day, but we also see an improvement around the house when the kids maintain a busy and active schedule.
This year we’ll have a child in preschool and a child in Kindergarten (yikes!) and both will see regular free play time while at school. “Recess” takes place rain (inside in the Gym) or shine (playground) and my kids are among those who consider it their favorite subject at school. But many don’t think that activity is enough. Should kids also participate in sports and activities outside of school? In our family, the answer is a definite “Yes!” as both kids are involved in additional programs.
We’ve participated in “extra-curricular” activities for both kids since they were an appropriate age. For example, the kids started taking swim lessons before they turned one and they continue to take lessons every summer. Fall means it’s time for soccer. Spring equals t-ball. And my daughter participates in dance and / or gymnastics year round. I recognize that we’re lucky to be able to afford all these extras, and we do make them a priority in our family. We just all seem to do better as a unit when we maintain an active schedule. The kids are getting important exercise, socializing with friends and my husband and I like that they go to bed early and sleep soundly through the night.
Of course, it’s possible to have too much of a good thing and I am mindful not to overschedule our kids. After all, they’re kids! We’re not training the next Olympians here. We’re simply trying to provide our kids an outlet for their energy, a way to make friends and, of course, to have fun. I know, too, that I need to leave them plenty of unstructured time so they can lead their own adventures and activities.
What do you think? How much activity is too much? What do you do to keep your kids active? Do you have a different approach in the summer versus the winter?