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Encouraging Physical Activity at Home - Project

Posted Nov 09 2010 2:35am
Let's face it growing up today is not the same as it used to be. The children in the United States are becoming less and less active. Many children today ride the bus to school, ride the bus home and play indoors (mostly television, video game and computer use). The extracurricular physical activities in a child's life are mostly organized sports. Pediatric occupational and physical therapists can encourage physical activity as a leisure activity leading to a healthier lifestyle for all children.

To get started perhaps you can devise a long term physical activity goal. Each month have a child pick something to do that requires physical activity with their family. Perhaps it is taking a hike, walking the mall, free play outdoors, sledding... whatever is possible for the family and child to complete. Provide the children with a hand out regarding the importance of physical activity. Check out this APTA page - Smart Moves for Families .

For each monthly activity, have the child take a photograph, video or draw a picture of what the activity included. Each month have a sharing day at school where the kids can describe what they physical activity they completed. This allows other students to share physical fitness ideas with the whole class to spark interest in others.

At the end of the year, give the children a prize who have completed 10 physical activity tasks. Make sure the prize also encourages a healthy lifestyle i.e. free pass to a roller skating rink, playground ball or jump rope.
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