DIY Projects and Activities that Help Your Kids Stay Active at Home
With more kids on their phones and tablets watching YouTube, stresses the facts that kids are not getting enough physical activity during the day. In the U.S. the percentage of adolescents affected by obesity have tripled since the 1970s according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, where the data shows from 2015-2016 nearly 1 in 5 school age children and young people from ages 6 to 19 years in the U.S. has obesity.
While there are many factors that contribute to obesity, including genetics, metabolism, community and neighborhood design and safety, as well as eating and physical activity behaviors, as parents our role in helping children achieve and maintain a healthy weight influences our children’s overall health.
And while the neighborhood crime rates sometimes keep families from participating in the outdoor play, I really encourage families to take the effort in creating a safe play environment indoors and in taking the time to explore nature bring the outdoors indoors.
A report by the Healthy Active Living and Obesity Research Group at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute explains it is important than ever to encourage our kids to incorporate physical activity into their day. (Preschoolers need at least 180 minutes of physical activity every day, while kids age 5-7 need 60 minutes of mild to moderate exercise per day.
Today’s Parent Magazine has a list of 15 of their favorite indoor activities to help kids stay active
As I have volunteered for a couple years at the Children’s Hospital in Long Beach I definitely came across a lot of fun activities on Pinterest that were fun and easy DIY projects you can also dive into with your kids. I suggest doing projects where you create a memory that will either last or a project that you plan to keep for keepsake memories, and (not the kind of typical projects that end up in your trash can). Also, incorporate a learning curve so that you explore something fun while you play, and do your best to keep it simple.
I, myself am exploring motherhood with a very active daughter (age of 2 starts) where she starts to panic when I start cooking. I have put the ABC magnets on the fridge, the crayons and paper on the table, but it only keeps her active for a few minutes. And I am not a huge believer to spend money and indulge on kid toys because it too only keeps their attention for a minute or two.
When she was at the age of one, I noticed she liked collecting rocks from the backyard and start putting them into this whole, and I decided to take what she was doing with the rocks and create an indoor activity where she could enhance her skills by using the behavior of putting things inside of other things.
So I started to collect the little cardboard box holders that hold the little jellos or puddings in place and put them aside. One day we walked around our neighborhood and collected little pinecones.
Before I started cooking dinner, I learned this practice of putting all of her toys away and left the little cardboard boxes and pinecones right there on the kitchen floor for her to see. And it worked so well, she immediately went straight to the boxes to see what it was and started putting the pinecones in the little holders. I was so impressed and is a 0-cost activity that kept her active during the whole time I cooked dinner.
The first step of this child development project is that I first observed and collected data of what sparked my child’s interest and the second step, I built a relatable project and built off of my child’s interest for her to explore putting things inside of other things and remember she was only at the age of 1. So imagine what your kid can do, at their age.