Monday, 2 June 2014

Helping your child stay active at home!

Having a fit and healthy child is important for all parents but in this time of ever increasing technology, how do we get our children away from the screens and exercising?

Here are some helpful tips.

How do I encourage my child to enjoy activities that don't involve a screen?

Too much time in front of a screen can inhibit creativity and the development of concentration and attention, as well as decreasing the amount of time spent in physical activities.
Here are some top tips on reducing screen time at home:-
  1. Establish a routine for time they are allocated to watch TV or use media.
  2. Replace screen time with playing fun, physical and imaginative games (ideas below!)
  3. Don’t over-emphasize the importance of screen time by using it as a reward or depriving your child of it as a consequence. Instead encourage and praise things such as healthy eating or physical activities.
  4. Make meal times a time for family communication and bonding, rather than having the TV on. This will not only help to limit screen time but also encourage communication and language development, as well as helping your family to connect.

How do I get my little one exercising?

Physical activity is so important for people of all ages, especially little ones whose bodies are growing at an amazing rate.
Why physical activity is good for children:-

  1. It helps them stay fit and healthy
  2. Physical activity produces endorphins which help your child be happy and relaxed
  3. Exercise builds strength, flexibility and endurance
  4. Lots of fresh air and exercise will help your child get lots of good quality sleep
  5. It can promote cognitive and social development, as well as developing their fine and gross motor skills
  6. Increased concentration and attention spans

Physical fun ideas:-

  1. Get outside! – When the weather is bearable, make the most of it. Take your child to a park or play in the garden. We don’t get enough opportunity to be outside in Dubai, grab every chance you can!
  2. When reading a story, act out the parts with your child, making it as silly and fun as possible. As well as moving around, this will also promote early literacy development :) 
  3. Play equipment – some simple resources are affordable and a great way of inspiring your children to join in games and activities. Have a look for things like hula hoops, soft balls, bean bags, cones and balancing equipment. They will give your child endless activity ideas and enjoyment!
  4. When you are moving about the house, encourage your child to move like different animals (for example: hopping like a bunny or slithering like a snake)
  5. Dance and let loose! Put on some music and get your child moving and shaking, it’s a great way of keeping fit, promoting rhythm and body control and having lots of fun in the mix!
  6. Have a look for physical fun activities in the community. 

Why not try: 

Fitness fun at My Gym Dubai -
Music and Movement at Boogie Babies Dubai -
Indoor play at Fun City -
Toddler football fun at Socatots Dubai Sports City -

For more information and ideas, check out our Facebook page

Katie Hamdi
Katie is an Early Years specialist in Dubai, where she manages an EYFS nursery. She has a special interest in psychology and early childhood development.


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