It’s hard to get kids excited about being active when you’re competing with online streaming platforms and mobile devices. But, given the surprising statistics that 25% of Aussie kids including teens are overweight or obese and only one fifth are getting the suggested 1-hour of exercise each day, it’s never been more important to get them moving.

Even as adults, no one enjoys being forced to do exercise or do sports they don’t enjoy. So, it’s important to help your kids foster a love of physical activity from an early age. Before they start school where team sports can get competitive and make them feel self-conscious if they’re not confident with hand and eye coordination.

So how do you get your children interested in physical activity? The founder of Ninja Parc, John Pirlo has some great suggestions to get your kids excited about being active while they’re young enough to form good habits.

Channel your imagination to make it fun

There’s nothing like transforming the backyard into a fun-style Ninja Warrior course and letting your child leap in single bounds over boxes pretending they’re faster than a speeding bullet. Ironically, while it’s good to encourage them to watch less TV, programmes such as Tag, Survivor challenges and Ninja Warrior can be a source of inspiration for physical activity.

If you’re not comfortable with your dining chairs and various bits of furniture being treated like a parkour course, Ninja Parc is an indoor innovation that suits anyone aged 3 years and over and they offer casual play passes, school holiday programs, birthday parties and more. Indoor obstacle courses like Ninja Parc is a fun way to encourage your kids to get active and build confidence.

Aside from being great for any kind of weather conditions, indoor obstacle courses help children get more comfortable with how their bodies move and develop good hand and eye coordination without the pressure they get from a team sport environment. They also require creative problem solving as they learn how to move across each challenge.

Encourage outdoor exploring

There are plenty of amazing local parks, beaches and bush walks throughout Australia the entire family can enjoy. Aside from your kids getting incidental physical activity (exercise without realising it), being outdoors in the fresh air and surrounded by nature has proven effects of lowering stress. Just 10 minutes in a natural setting is said to help reduce cortisol levels.

While you’re out in nature, it’s a good opportunity to build mindfulness and teach deep breathing techniques and stretching, equipping your children with stress lowering abilities and coping strategies for later in life.

Other ideas to get the kids active these school holidays:

  • Mini golf
  • Beach or pool
  • Trampoline at Bounce Inc
  • Bike ride or scooter/skateboard at the local skate park
  • Bush walk
  • Gardening
  • Cleaning! (now that’s a good one, mama! hehehe)