How can we prep our kids to be fit and ready for physical activities in Primary school? Here are five ways to raise a fit child.
Physical activities not only strengthen your child’s muscles and bones, it also develops your child’s competency as they are capable of doing movements most children are able to perform. Healthy, physically active children also are more likely to be academically motivated and successful.
1. Incorporate physical activities daily
Encourage your child to engage in physical activities for at least 180 minutes daily, as recommended by Singapore Health Promotion Board (HPB). Physical activities do not limit to just exercising. Playing at the playground, cycling, walking to the supermarket or walking up the steps is also a form of activity.
2. Provide a variety
Offer a variety of physical activities so that your child will be exposed to different movements. These activities can be individual or in a team. As the child participates in the different activities, he or she will constantly learn new skills. However, do consider your child’s interests and abilities when introducing these activities. The activity has to be of interest and something that can be a little challenging. Allow your child to have the freedom to make choices too. The focus is on fun and being active.
3. Good sportsmanship
Team sports encourage children to engage in active listening and play a role of a team member; seeking team spirit. It is important to talk to your child about setbacks and losses. Encouraging, praising and talking to them will help overcome any potential fears.
4. Be a role model
Set a good role-model and participate enthusiastically in a variety of physical activities with your child. Why not gather and involve your extended family, relatives, friends or neighbours to take part too!
5. Safety aspect
Stress on the importance of the proper use of the equipment and put on safety gear, if needed. Drink plenty of water when engaging in physical activities. If the child is unwell on that day, avoid any physical activities.
Parents can make a difference to guide, support and encourage their children. Make it a priority and look for opportunities to have family-oriented activities. You can help and build a supportive and safe environment that welcomes your child’s efforts.
By Rebecca Goh-Quek, Education Specialist working with Kinderland Educare Services Pte Ltd.
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