Become an active family to feel better and live longer. A family activity plan promotes togetherness, physical health and positive feelings for parents and children. Set an example for your children by taking an active part in their lives and modeling an active, healthy lifestyle.
1. Set screen time limits.
Move more and watch less! The American Academy of Pediatrics says no screen time under 2 years of age, none in the bedroom and no more than 2 hours total per day. That goes for games, TV, computers and now phones and tablets. Put your will to the test, can everyone in your family commit to being "unplugged" for a few hours a day? Turn off the screen and turn on some music you can dance to.
2. Make a list of activities you enjoy.
Get everyone together and make a list of all the fun things you can do. What can you do inside? In the yard? At a nearby park? At the community center? Hide and seek, silly walk races, ride bikes, play ball, dance, red light/green light, sledding, snowball fights, nature hunts, geocashing…Post the list on the fridge or write each activity on a card and pull cards from a box when you need ideas.
3. Stock up on active toys.
Toys don't have to be new or expensive. Check out yard sales to find easy to store, easy to use toys that don't take batteries and have lots of fun possibilities. Look for balls of all shapes and sizes, Frisbees, hula hoops, jump ropes, buckets and shovels, sprinklers, kites, hip hops, pogo sticks. Make up your own games and contests with your found treasures.
4. Schedule time for a weekend activity.
Chores, errands, and clubs quickly fill up your weekend. So make plans for a fun, family activity. Use a family dinner in the middle of the week to talk about the options. A hike in the mountains? A bike trip on a new trail? Canoeing or fishing at the lake? Sledding or skiing? Swimming? A neighborhood treasure hunt?
5. Plan an active vacation.
Holidays and family vacations are a chance to enjoy active adventures together. Whether your vacation is to a new destination, visiting relatives or staying home, check online and in guidebooks for activities such as walking tours, biking, or hiking.
Make active fun a family priority every day.