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Video Game Battle: How to Get Couch Potato Kids Moving

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There are days when the kids seem more than motivated to get outside and play with every toy they own (my front yard looking like a garage sale gone awry), and other days, I can't convince them to move so I can vacuum under their feet.

Ever have those times when your kids don't seem to move from the couch or from in front of the computer screen? You suggest fun activities, you offer to pick up a friend, you list the benefits of getting outside and stretching their legs and still, nothing. There they
sit. When it's a cold, dreary snow-less winter, what is a parent to do?

On a day-to-day basis, you can limit screen time the kids can enjoy, but sometimes managing that and filling in their time with other creative idea's is full time job in itself. I find if they are kept busy with other activities, there is rarely time for extended couch
surfing. In the mornings before school everyone has responsibilities in our house - emptying the dishwasher, packing backpacks, practicing piano, getting out vitamins, making their own breakfast, brushing teeth, and finding library books (this one can take
awhile!). This leaves little time for TV or computers before school and keeps everyone moving towards to door.

Regular weekly activities give the kids an outlet to learn a new skill and get much needed time to move after nap time or sitting at a desk all day. If your kids are too young for full day school, plan morning outings to the library or a play date and in the
afternoon plan something active like a walk. You don't want your kids too busy, but a paper route or dance classes a couple days a week for older kids keeps them active and away from the video game temptation with their free time after school.

When we do have those lazy unstructured weekends void of any plans, birthday parties or trips to the mall, I take it upon myself to play the Activities Co-ordinator and plan a family outing - something I know everyone will enjoy (once they finish groaning and
moaning about getting up off the couch)! We go for a walk to the park, for a hike in the nearby forest, for a family swim at the local pool, play mini golf or to Open Gym at our Community Centre. Older kids will enjoy a little indoor rock climbing, skating, bowling or
sign up for a Zumba class. The key is, Mom & Dad join in! The kids not only love the family time, but the whole family benefits from staying active together.

The feel good laughs at Mom trying to climb a rock wall or Dad sinking a glow in the dark hole in one will be remembered, and the hugs, holding hands and family time will help persuade your sedentary bunch outside the next time you need to nudge everyone
off the couch.

 

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Deb Lowther is a mother of 3 young daughters who, when not running after the kids, is running in the trails! She blogs about Raising Healthy Kids and ensures her own have fun while eating healthy & staying active. You can visit her websites to learn more www.iron-kids.com & www.adultgummies.com