Use your imagination! You can transform any sedentary game into something more energetic.
Use your imagination! “You can transform any sedentary game into something more energetic,” says kinesiologist Peggy Gendron. “For example, when your child places two pieces of a puzzle or completes the puzzle, you can have him jump like a frog five times, roll on the ground, or run on the spot for 30 seconds.” The same principle applies to any memory game or other type of board game.
Ask your child to move around like a cat, dog, duck, crab, or using little mouse steps, like Marc does with his daughters Maude, four, and Mariloup, 23 months. You can even ask your child to hop like a grasshopper when he puts balls away in their storage bin.
Develop many strategies: associate movements to nursery rhymes; ask your child to mime a story as you tell it; draw standing on one leg; get to the table by walking on tippy toes, heels, using giant steps, or walking backwards, etc.
Have your child walk a part of the way instead of having him sit in his stroller or, if you go tobogganing, have him climb up part of the hill on foot.
Get your child in contact with other children. “My cousin and I take turns entertaining each other’s kids,” says Dominique, mother to Maëly, three years old, and Olivia, seven months old. “It gives us each a break and gets the children moving.” Cynthia and Eric, parents to two young children, get organized with neighbours to all go outside at the same time. “In winter, while the parents shovel, the children play touch tag or hockey,” says the young mother.
Be active, too! “Children learn a lot by imitating us,” notes Cynthia. “When they see us move, they want to move with us.”