What a great feeling to know that fellow moms from other countries also read and follow my blog! Best part of it, we all share the same thoughts (Well, I guess, all moms do!). In return, I did a collaboration with some of them and here’s one of those who have already shared interest in guest posting. Read on…
Exercise and Your Kids. Exercise is an important activity for children to engage in, but you can make it more fun by joining them. Children will often reiterate what they see their parents doing, so exercise is a healthy activity to repeat.
Maybe you already talk your kids on a walk, but is the time you are spending with them quality time? Do you feel rushed on the walk or like you have no time? If so, I have got 6 simple ways to improve the quality of your walk with your children.
Bonding Time with Your Children. This time in your child’s life is impressionable, and they rely on you to help them set standards. If you begin a task with them, make sure to continue it or follow it through to the end. Bonding experiences occur a lot in young children, and they need the stability to know you will be there.
Tip #1: Make Sure They Are Comfortable Plan for a short walk to start, unless you have been walking for a while with your children. You do not want to exhaust them or wear them out completely, but to get them a healthy balance of exercise and outside activity.
If your children seem like they will not be able to make the entire walk, try bringing along a stroller for one child, or you can invest in a sit and stand stroller if one of your toddlers like to get on and off the stroller frequently.
From experience, you may also want to make sure they use the bathroom before they leave the house with you. Otherwise, it could get messy very quickly!
Tip #2: Bring Snacks and Plan for Breaks Bringing snacks does not have to be sweets or junk food, rather bring along some fresh fruit, water bottles, sandwiches, and veggies. If you have a toddler that is using a bottle, make sure to bring bottles with juice, water, or formula depending on what they drink.
Pack a little blanket to lay on the ground to have a picnic. This will boost those sugar and energy levels and put your kids back in the activity. Make sure to use this time to check in with your kids about their ideas on the exercise and how they would like to alter it or add to it.
Tip #3: Engage and Interact with Your Children Don’t keep quiet on the walk. Otherwise, the bonding is minimal. Make sure to ask your kids about the plants they see, the insects and animals, and the people. Interacting with your child during the walk is beneficial to the quality time spent with your child.
Use this time during the activity to teach your child about the nature around them. Tell them stories about your childhood and what you did in the area. Make it a quality time, rather than a quiet, rushed event.
Tip #4: Don’t Interrupt Their Schedules Make sure you are not planning these walks during naptime or another activity they may be in, such as dance, gymnastics, or sports. You want to make sure this time is set up just for you and your kids, without the worry of something else being in the way.
Cranky kids do not make for fun walking partners. They need their rest, so it is best to go in the morning or afternoon after their nap. This way, they have had their sleep and a little food to energize them for the activity ahead.
Tip #5: Make it an Event Each time you are getting ready to go on your walk, have your children help you prepare. Allow them to put the fruit or veggies into baggies, grab the bottles of water from the fridge, or help pack everything into a bag.
Allowing them to assist you before you leave, will enable them to get excited and become engaged and committed to the activity. This also promotes the production of dopamine, which helps raise happiness levels in the brain.
Tip #6: Encourage a Discussion At the end of your walk, have a sit down with your children and have an open discussion about the walk. Allow them to speak about what they liked, didn’t like, what they wanted to do, what they would like to do next time, and so forth.
Encouraging an open discussion allows your child to talk to you. This builds the open communication between parents and their children. This is something that will continue to grow and develop as you always allow an open discussion with your kids.
Better Time Spent Spending time with your child should be thought about ahead of time and planned for. If it is abrupt, it could seem rushed and forced, but if you take the time to plan it and discuss it with your children, it will seem more like an activity you both can enjoy.
What are some ways that you engage your child on walks? Do you plan ahead or just go with the flow? I would love to know how you take your kids on walks and how you get them involved!
Alanta is mother of two beautiful children. She has been writing informational blog posts for parents for a few years now. Please visit her blog at TopTenStrollers.