Wednesday, September 23, 2009

"Having An Active Child" (Guest Post)

Guest Post by Samantha of Mama Notes

Having an active child is extremely important. In today's society, we are bombarded with fast food, cartoon shows, and every movie. By having an active child, not only are you having a healthier child, you are creating a smarter child, allowing them to sleep better at night, do better in school, have more energy, and be happier and well rested .

There are many ways you can include activity in your child's life, every single day.

Encourage outdoor play.
Allow your children to use the nature given to us. Children don't need a play structure or a specific outdoor toy. When given the chance, children will you use their creativity to dig for worms in the dirt, find treasures in the crevices of the sidewalks, and bugs on the grass. They will be using their mind and their bodies in being active. Tell them to play tag, kick the soccer ball, throw the baseball, or jump rope. Just by getting out of the house you are already opening up many doors for activity.

Lead by example.
We too often forget it, but our children are looking right up at us. They're watching our every move, listening to our every word, absorbing our every action. If you're active and healthy in your life, chances are they will be too. Encourage walks, show them that you like to eat healthy (even if you don't-pretend), talk about your body in a healthy way. Show them by actions, words, and motions that being active is fun.

Go for a walk as a family.
This is a simple treasure that I believe every family should value. One of my favorite things is going on a walk with my husband and son. Even though he is only a baby, I know I am already creating a healthy habit and showing him that we walk as a family. Going for a walk after dinner is a great way to spend time with the family. It encourages creative talk, creates family memories, and includes activity. Let your child ride his or her bike while you walk, go on the scooter, or run to each curb.

Make activity a habit
Strive to make activity a daily part of your family's life. Something that is normal and habitual, not something that you have to think about doing. The more you do this, the more like habit and routine it will be. Maybe you will walk home from your child's school every day, go for a walk after dinner as a family, play baseball at the park every Sunday afternoon. Pick something that you can all do as a family and make it a habit.

Make activity fun
This is so important. I believe it's important to teach children that activity is not exercise. It's not a chore or a box that they have to mark off on their weekly list. It's a game. It's an adventure. However you can show them that moving is fun is a step in any right direction. Playing tag is fun. Kicking the ball back and forth is fun. Riding bikes are fun. Seeing how fast you can run from point A to point B is fun.

By implementing small steps into your daily life, you can have a healthy, happy, active family! What do you and your kids do every day that's active?

Samantha is a 24 year old SAHM to her 6 month old son. She blogs at her parenting website Mama Notes ( a fun resources for moms and a chronicle of her daily life and adventures in motherhood.
Starting Sept. 27th, "Mama Notes" will be having a "Body After Baby Challenge". This is something you won't want to miss!