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How can I keep my child active when school is out?

 Sometimes the activities that are unplanned and readily available are the most readily accepted. Your child may love to come home from school and ride a bike, run around with the dog, play baseball with neighborhood kids, ride scooters, or rollerblade around the block. After sitting all day long in school, it really doesn’t matter what he does, as long as he’s active.

Many parents I know use birthdays and holidays as a way to encourage their kids to stay active. Not only do they make scavenger hunts, obstacle courses and three-legged races part of the celebration, they also give fitness-minded gifts. I think it’s a great way to introduce an active hobby. For example, you could outfit your teenager for rock climbing by buying him the shoes required, a bag of chalk, and other climbing gear. Or how about a home version of the Dance Dance Revolution game to get your videogame lover stepping to the music? Perhaps a membership to a fitness center for your teen? Or a private lesson in the activity of choice? During summer or school vacations, check out sports camps or clinics. They can be sport-specific or can introduce several sports previously untried, kind of like a sport sampler.

From Good Kids, Bad Habits: The RealAge Guide to Raising Healthy Children by Jennifer Trachtenberg.

Good Kids, Bad Habits: The RealAge Guide to Raising Healthy Children

More About this Book

Good Kids, Bad Habits: The RealAge Guide to Raising Healthy Children

When kids start going on TV binges or devouring fistfuls of cookies, it's easy to say, "They'll grow out of it." More likely, they're acquiring bad habits that could lead to childhood obesity and...
Too keep your child active after school, look around and see if there are any after school programs offered by the school or another local organization such as the YMCA. If nothing like this exists, another option is to enroll your child into a seasonal sport such as soccer, baseball, basketball, dance, or a martial art.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.