Wally, like many young children, loves to play outdoors. In this series about promoting healthy activity in kids, we’ll follow Wally as he tries out for different sports, and also consider the benefits of exercise and outdoor play for children.
You may remember when Wally and the whole puppet gang decided to start exercising back in October (if not, refresh your memory by clicking here!). We shared an article that showed how the Incredible Years programs had been linked to healthier outcomes and lower rates of obesity. You can read that article here.
In Part 1 of this series, let’s consider some of the benefits of exercise, sports, and outdoor play for children. With summer on it’s way, this is a great time for families to start planning play time outside all together! Spending time playing together outside fosters family bonding and helps children see how physical activity can be fun. Especially for younger children, try not to impose rules but instead allow them to be child-directed and explore different sports and games.
You can bring a variety of options to the park and try out some different games like tag, kicking the ball around, or playing catch. This sort of play promotes hand-eye coordination and motor skills, and it can also be a wonderful way to foster your child’s imagination and creativity, allowing him/her to explore new things. Another benefit is helping children see how exercise can come in many different forms and be enjoyable. It promotes a healthy, active lifestyle, and gives children a way to release energy!
Check back next week – Wally will continue making the rounds of Seattle sports teams, trying to choose which one is right for him!
~The Incredible Years Team