Keeping your child active can be one of the most challenging parts of parenting. This post provides useful tips on how to help with this. Getting your kids moving is crucial for their health. And it starts when they are very little, and continues for decades. In the photos below: on the left, Maggie was heading off to the park to help our 7-year-old granddaughter learn how to ride a bike. On the right, I was trotting behind my 17-year-old daughter because she still needed a little support with her new sport of roller skating (yes, skating – she is retro). So, basically, it never ends. But ultimately, it really is worth it. Plus, it keeps you fit and active while you are doing it.
And now – here are some tips for getting your children active from a young age, as well as advice on how to incorporate exercise into their everyday routines, from author Tina Whittle.
Healthy = Happy
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that at least 41 million children under 5 are overweight or obese. Obesity is on the rise worldwide. So, it’s more crucial than ever that we take steps to keep our children healthy and active.
Whether it’s running around the garden, playing in the park, or doing swimming lessons, keeping your young ones physically active is crucial to development. But with reports suggesting that only one in three children is active every day, how can we incorporate more exercise into our children’s daily routines?
Tips to Keep Your Kids Active and Busy
From walking the dog to biking to school, it’s easier than you might think to get your kids active.
Small children often have tons of energy. So when you ensure that they get their daily dose of exercise, you’re also helping to ensure some peace for yourself come bed time! Below, we’ve listed some tips to keep your young ones active and busy.
Get Your Kids to Help Out with Small Household Chores
One of the best ways to keep your kids active and also teach them valuable life skills is to get them involved in tidying their rooms, bathing the dog, doing their laundry, etc. One day, their future life partner will thank you!
Take Your Kids Along on Family Bike Rides
There are child bike seats available for adult bikes, so that you can strap your little ones safely on the back or front. Trail-along bikes make it safe for slightly bigger children to cycle with you. Read more here about how to use trail-along bikes and tandems to get your kids cycling safely with you.
Read our in-depth post, 7 of the Best and Safest Baby and Child Bike Seats, with Reviews and Videos. From that post, below are our picks for the best kid bike seats to safely take your kids along on a bike ride.
|• Rear mounted, attaches to seat post.|
• Mount or dismount in seconds with the universal quick-release bracket.
• Fits most frames.
|Best for children who are at least 18 months old. Rated for children from 9 months to 6 years old, up to 48.5 lb (22 kg)||• 5 different reclining options. |
• Adjustable footrests.
• Height adjustable, padded safety harness with child proof safety buckle.
• Reversible, washable seat cover.
• Reclining function for an extra comfortable ride.
• Adjustable 3-point harness ensures child safety and the perfect fit.
• Smooth, comfortable ride from the shock-absorbing suspension system.
• One-handed reclining seat for on-the-go naps (5 options; up to 20 degree recline).
• Childproof safety buckle with large button to easily secure your child
|• Rear mounted, attaches to seat post.|
• Fits rear bike racks with an EasyFit window or racks with Thule Yepp Maxi EasyFit Adapter (sold separately).
|Best for children who are at least 18 months old. Rated to carry children up to 40 pounds (18 kg)||• Rated as “the Cadillac of bike seats”|
• Complies with the most stringent European safety requirements and has won multiple design awards.
• Includes Adjustable 5-point harness for a perfect fit.
• Adjustable footrests.
• Shoulder pads.
• Soft and shock-absorbing seat for child comfort.
• Childproof safety buckle to quickly and easily secure child.
• Built-in reflectors and safety light attachment point for added visibility.
• Adjustable foot rests and straps grow with your child.
|• Front mounted, attaches to headset.|
• Easy mounting; compatible with most bikes.
|Suitable for children from about 12 months, once they can comfortably hold their heads up for extended periods. Tested for children aged 9 months to 3 years old; rated for up to 33 lb (15 kg)||• Soft and shock-absorbing seat.|
• Adjustable 5-point harness ensures a perfect fit and child safety;
• Comfort handle bar for child’s hands.
• Adjustable foot rests and straps means that it can grow with your child.
• Childproof safety buckle.
|• Front mounted, attaches to headset and seat post and the headset.|
• Fits almost all bikes including oversized head tubes and full suspension of 16”+ (except drop handle bars).
• Comes with its own bar so it can be fitted to almost any bike.
|Suitable for children from about 12 months, once they can comfortably hold their heads up for extended periods. Rated to carry children up to 40 pounds||• Very thick seat and back padding.|
• Adjustable footrests.
• Plush headrest in the front for nap time.
• Patented bar puts weight in centre of bike and not on front like other front seats.
• 5 point safety strap and enclosed movable footrests for child safety.
• The seat can be fitted easily within 20 minutes and can be removed in seconds for solo riding.
• Can be attached to the seat post of almost any bike.
|Can carry up to two children; rated for up to 100 pounds (45 kg)||• Highly rated by users.|
• Exceeds ASTM standards for safety and durability.
• Hammock-style seat for comfort.
• Two 5-point harnesses so you can carry one or two children.
• Windows have UPF 30 sun protection.
• Full internal roll cage.
• Rear cargo space.
• Bright colors.
• Reflective elements.
• Comes with neon orange safety flag.
|Price usually under $380. Please click here for best current price on Amazon.|
|Separate mini-bike that attaches to seat post of most bikes||Recommended for children aged 4 to 9; rated for up to 75 pounds. Weighs 24 pounds||Allows child to help with the pedaling and learn some cycling skills.||$185.79|
|Bicycle that is especially designed to carry cargo - in this case, children||Suitable for children over one year old. Exact suitability depends on which one you choose - be advised by the manufacturers' recommendations||Features will vary depending on which one you buy; some carry children in the front, others at the back; there is also an option of getting an electric cargo bike||Check with your local bike shop|
Get Your Kids to Help with Family Pet Care
One of the most fun things to do to get your kids active is to get them involved with walking the family dog. Whatever you do, don’t set off for the walk with your dog and leave the kids at home with their heads in their phones. You may face some opposition at first, but if you let the kids get hands-on, they usually start to have a lot of fun with walking the dog.
Of course, it helps if the dogs are trained. We rely on, and wholeheartedly recommend, this YouTube channel: Will Atherton Canine Training. (We have no affiliation with Will and he does not know we exist. But he’s really good, full of useful common sense advice about how to get your family dog trained.)
Walk, Cycle, Skate, or Run to School
Leave the car at home and encourage more active modes of transport. This will often have the extra benefit that you will get some exercise too! Read here about how to help your kids cycle to school. You may be able to find a group of parents and kids to bike with.
Related Post: How to Help Your Kids to Bike to School
Don’t Forget the Old Favorites
Just making time to take your kids to the park will open the door to hours of healthy exercise and fun for them. And they will love the time you spend with them at the park. Again, both you and your kids will benefit from the fresh air and exercise.
Enjoy Activity Weekends and Vacations Together
After a busy week, it’s tempting to sit the kids in front of the TV while you relax. But it’s essential that you and your children spend time outdoors. Next time you plan a holiday, pick one that will make it easy to be active.
For example, Whistler in British Columbia, Canada, is surrounded by a network of miles and miles of safe, mostly flat, family-friendly bike trails. You can ride all day from lake to lake. Read all about the Whistler Valley Trail here.
Get Your Toddler Started on a Balance Bike/Strider Bike
Get your kids started on bikes as early as possible to set the foundation for a healthy lifetime of outdoor exercise. As explained in our post on How to Teach your Child to Ride a Bike, we recommend that you start your very young child on a balance bike. These are also called strider bikes. They look a bit like a cross between a scooter and a bike.
Kids from the age of about two and a half to three and a half can use these bikes to develop balance. After that, many can graduate directly onto bikes without the use of training wheels.
A balance bike will teach your child the basic concept of balancing while moving. So, he or she will very quickly be able to graduate to riding bikes without training wheels. Once they know how to ride bikes, encourage them to cycle more and make sure they have fun with it by following our tips to encourage your kids to cycle more.
You Can Buy Great Kid’s Bikes on Amazon
Children’s bikes are available for all ages, sizes and abilities. From your toddler’s first tricycle, right up to their very first mountain bike, an appropriate bike will allow your kids to get out and be active. Amazon offers a lot of great options for kid’s bikes, including Schwinn and Strider kids’ bikes. We have bought bikes for our grandkids from them.
As technology grows increasingly more universal, the temptation to sit indoors with social media and video games is greater than ever. It’s up to you to find the time to do really fun outdoor activities with your kids.
By highlighting the importance of exercise from an early age and showing your kids that exercise can be fun, you’ll be putting them on the path to a healthy and happy future.
Maggie wrote a great post about how to teach your child to ride a bike: 7 Easy Steps to Teach a Child to Ride a Bike
See also our helpful Post, Complete Bike Frame Size Guide for Adult Bikes and Kid’s Bikes.
And for more ideas, see our post on the 5 best ways to exercise with your family this summer!
Related Post: Complete Guide to Child Bike Seats and Trailers
Author of this Article
This post was written by Tina Whittle. Tina works for PreciousLittleOne. Outside of PreciousLittleOne, she is a mobile Holistic/Beauty therapist who enjoys a healthy outdoor lifestyle.
Any spare time Tina has is spent with her family and friends. Tina has many hobbies and interests, including fine dining, dog walking, going to the gym, and cooking.
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