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Outdoor Play

Children and Physical Activities: How to Motivate Kids to Exercise

We all know kids who are constantly on the move; I mean those who can’t be kept inside the house for long hours. On the contrary, there are kids who just don’t want to get out or do any exercise. For this last group, parents need to walk the extra mile by encouraging their children to engage in more outdoor activities and physical exercise. Here are some strategies parents can use to help children discover the joy and benefits of involving in physical activities on a regular basis.

Children and Physical Activities: How to Motivate Kids to Exercise

Be the Motivator

Talk to your children often about the importance of engaging in regular physical activities and how it can help them follow a healthy life style. Let children know that regular exercise brings many benefits such as stronger bones and muscles as well as a healthier heart, mind and body. Parents play a significant role in shaping their children’s attitudes towards maintaining a physically active life style.

Limit the Use of TV, Tablets and Video Games

Young children love to spend their time in front of a screen watching their favorite TV shows or playing video games. Parents need to be aware that this is a valuable time that can be spent outside playing sports, doing physical activities and learning new skills. Set a rule for the use of electronic media inside the home and limit the screen time to certain hours of a day for children. Make sure children have the time and opportunity for doing outdoor activities at least three to five days in a week.

Explore the Nature

Use as many as opportunities you find to take children outside of the home and engage them in healthy physical activities. There are many activities parents can do with their children during the cold and the warm seasons. You can go to a nearest park, go out on a picnic, play an outdoor game in your backyard or take a camping trip with your kids or the entire family. The goal is to instill the love of nature in children and make outdoor activities a fun part of their daily lives.

Get Them Excited About a Sport

Plan a short trip and take your child with you to a nearby sporting event. When kids see parents excited about a sport, they often become interested in the same activity. Do you like football, basketball, hockey or baseball? Take your child with you to your favorite sport game. This is your opportunity to bond with your child, talk about sports and get him or her excited about the game.

Be a Good Example

Role modeling is probably the most influential strategy in the world of parenting. Children intentionally or unintentionally mimic their parent’s behavior. Get in the habit of exercising regularly or participate in a local sport tournament. Your kids will soon take a note of that and get encouraged to participate and be active naturally.

 

Related Articles:

Winter Activities for Toddlers: How to Keep Toddlers Occupied During the Cold Season

 

 

Why Kids Should Play Outside? Benefits of Outdoor Activities for Children

In our today society, with the increasing influence of computer games and technology, children have a great need for outdoor activities and physical exercise. Outdoor play contributes to development of important skills and abilities in children. Outdoor activities help kids to grow and flourish. Here are five compelling reasons why kids should be allowed to play outside.

Outdoor Activities for Kids: Why Kids Should Play Outdside

Outdoor Play Encourages Creativity

Outdoor Play encourages creativity in children. Every time a child steps outside, he or she has the chance to experience something new and see the world in a different perspective. While playing outside, kids find the opportunity to search and explore the environment. They see, smell, hear and touch new things they can’t experience indoors. Outdoor play introduces limitless opportunities for children to play, enjoy their time and have fun at the same time.

Kids Who Play Outside are Happier

Outdoor activities for kids psychologically help reduce stress and anxiety. Kids who play outside are calmer, healthier and more optimistic. Children use the time outside of the house and classroom to release their energy, laugh, play and engage with others which all result in improvement of attention, focus and behavior. Every child wants to play and play is the source of happiness.

Kids Who Play Outside are Healthier

Outdoor play increases the level of physical activities in children. Active children are healthier and stronger compared to children who don’t participate in outdoor activities. As children spend more time outdoors running and actively playing, their immune system improves and their chances of getting sick decreases. Outdoor activities for kids contribute to healthy growth and development of bones, longs, muscles and brain. Physical activities are also the number one solution for fighting obesity in children.

Connecting with Other Children

Outdoor activities for kids result in enhancement of social development and emotional maturity. Kids who play outside are more involved in group activities, playing, communicating and developing relationships with adults and other children. Outdoor activities allow children to interact with others, make more friends and learn new skills and solve problems. Outdoor play promotes self-confidence in children and allows them to become better leaders and decision makers.

Connecting with the Nature

Whether playing in the backyard, beach or nearby park, outdoor play gives children the opportunity to connect with the nature, understand their environment, and know the importance of natural world that surrounds them. Parents and educators can use outdoor activities as learning opportunities to teach children about the importance of preserving our environment. Kids who get out of the house and play outdoors tend to develop attention and care for the environment more than kids who don’t take part in outdoor activities.

 

5 Reasons You Need an Outdoor Playhouse in Your Yard
Kids Playing in a Victorian Outdoor Playhouse

Ever thought of having an outdoor playhouse in your yard? Whether you are a parent or an educator, you should know that having an outdoor playhouse leads to a number of benefits for children. An outdoor playhouse brings fun and excitement to children’s activities and helps them develop important physical and mental skills. Here are the top five reasons you might want to consider adding an outdoor playhouse to your home or school playground.

Encouraging Outdoor Play

The majority of the toys that our children play with today are indoor toys. Kids spend a good amount of their time each day inside the house or school playing, studying and doing extracurricular activities. An outdoor playhouse is a great motivator for kids to get out of the house and play in an open environment. Outdoor play develops physical, social and cognitive skills in children and allows them to become happier, calmer and more self-disciplined people.

Stimulating Creativity

Outdoor playhouse gives children a place of their own and opens the door to a variety of activities. Kids can read, play, eat, drink and have fun using their own kitchen or living room space. They will find the opportunity to furnish and decorate their house based on their own taste and creativity. Outdoor playhouse is the number one place for promoting pretend play in children’s activities. An outdoor playhouse can be the children’s home, a doctor’s office, a classroom or a fire station giving children the space they need to develop imagination and creativity.

Encouraging Group PlayKids Playing in a Fire Station Outdoor Playhouse

Outdoor playhouse encourages the engagement of more than one child. It is an activity center where children come together and play in one central space. As children take different roles, they go through an imaginative experience to play out elements of a real society. Group play teaches kids how to interact and cooperate with each other and builds a foundation for development of necessary skills they need to perform in the real society.

Promoting Physical Exercise

An outdoor playhouse provides kids the opportunity to play, move and be active. Outdoor activities reduce the amount of time kids spend in front of TV or to play computer games. Having an outdoor playhouse naturally increases the amount of physical movement in children resulting in healthier bodies and stronger immune systems.

Social Development in Children

Outdoor playhouse is the place for children to learn how to work and communicate with each other in a group play activity. Major advantages of a group play are that children learn how to interact with each other in a group and how to cope with possible conflicts and differences. As children play, they foster their social and language abilities and develop important cooperation and leadership skills.

Review for KaZAM Balance Bikes

Before KaZAM Balance Bike was Born

Do you remember the traditional way of learning to ride a bike? The child receives a brand new bicycle from the parents as a gift. Father puts the training wheels on the bike and the child rides the bike for weeks trying to learn how to pedal, balance and control the bike. Now, with the child claiming he or she can ride the bike without the training wheels, the father takes the training wheels off and takes the child out for a real bike ride challenge. The child sits on the bike and the father promises to hold on to the bike as the child learns how to keep the balance and use the pedal; this time with no training wheels. Father holds on to the seat and runs next to the bike and suddenly he lets go! After the father lets go of the bike, sometimes things go well and sometimes they don’t. With the innovative training balance bikes from KaZAM, this doesn’t have to be the case anymore.

Review for KaZAM Balance Bikes

Why do I need a KaZAM Balance Bike?

Are you are looking for an easy way to teach your kids how to ride a bike? KaZAM bikes are balanced bikes that train kids to ride a bike and take away the need for balancing wheels. KaZAM bikes are ideal for any three to six years old who has not started riding a bike yet.

What is the difference between a KaZAM Bike and a Regular Bicycle?

KaZAM bikes have no pedals. Kids learn how to balance themselves first before starting to learn how to use the pedals. Using these balance bikes, your kids learn first how to balance themselves, and then they are ready to transition to a regular bike. This concept of learning to ride a bike has been popular in Europe for many years.

How do I teach my child to ride a KaZAM Bike?

Riding a KaZAM Balance Bike is more like an independent experience with less parental supervision than a regular bike. KaZAM introduces four simple steps for learning how to ride a balance bike:

ONE | Place the bike on a smooth, flat surface.

TWO | Sit on the bike while your feet are on the ground. Slightly lean forward and tightly hold the front handle bars.

THREE | To start riding the bike, push continuously with your feet on the ground. Keep alternating the two feet.

FOUR | Right after the bike starts running, place both feet on the footrest and start to practice balancing.

This four step process on how to ride a KaZAM Bike is also shown in the video below.

What is the difference between KaZAM Bikes and other Balance Bikes in the market?

The difference between KaZAM and other balance bikes in the market is the missing footrest. To our knowledge, KaZAM is the only balance bike in the market with a patented footrest designed for perfect foot placement while learning to balance and ride. This way kids don’t have to drag their feet as they ride the bike.

General Specifications

With these revolutionary balance bikes, kids can learn how to ride a bike one step at a time. The bike is made of high-quality metal frame. Tires are air inflated with steel spoke wheels. KaZAM bikes are available in various colors including Green, Orange, Red, Pink and Blue.

KaZAM balance bikes are available in the “original” and the “brake” versions. In the “original version”, kids have to use their feet on the ground to bring the bike to stop. The “brake version” comes with a hand brake attached to the handle bar.

KaZAM bikes have won many awards and recognitions including the “20 Best Summer Toys” from Parents Magazine in June 2011 and the most recent Tillywig Top Fun Award Winner in 2013. The beautiful design and the high-quality metal frame combined with the innovative patented footrest make the KaZAM one of the best balance bikes in the market.

Pros

  • Kids are able to learn how to ride a bike by themselves and in their own pace.
  • Patented footrest allows for perfect balance while riding the bike.
  • Both handlebars and raised seat are adjustable.

Cons

  • The “original version” of the bike has no hand brake. Child has to use feet to stop the bike.

KaZAM on Shark Tank

Kazam Bikes have been on “Shark Tank” too. Mary Beth Lugo, the co-creator of KaZAM, has been on ABC’s “Shark Tank” – Season 4, episode 24 on May 10, 2013. Now partner with Mark Cuban and Barbara Corcoran, KaZAM Bikes are going to attract even more attention than before.

KaZAM balance bikes are available for purchase at Learn To Play Toys Outdoor Ride-on Toys Collection. 

 

Top Ten Outdoor Activities for Kids

Now that the spring is here and the warm summer days are approaching fast, it is the perfect time of the year to start engaging kids in fun outdoor activities. Here, we put together ten of our most favorite outdoor activities for kids that also involve family participation. Our goal is to motivate kids to be active, allow them to have fun, and let them use their creativity to accomplish things that are meaningful to them.

Fun Outdoor Activities for Kids

ONE | Backyard Toy Car Wash

Our number one option in our list of outdoor activities for kids is the toy car wash! Yes, car wash is not always for real cars. Toys can be car washed too! Have kids bring their non-electronic toy cars, trucks and other vehicles to the yard. Prepare a clean sponge and some mild soap. Show them how to do the washing and rinsing first, and then watch them as they take their toy vehicles through hand car wash one by one. This activity will teach kids cleanness and sense of responsibility for personal belongings.

TWO | Color the Patio, Driveway or the Front Yard Walkway with Sidewalk Chalk

Let your kids show their artistic sides by asking them to create their masterpiece using their imagination. This is a great activity to encourage creativity in children. Alternatively, you can print a pattern on a piece of paper, and ask kids to copy that in a larger scale on the pavement and color it with chalks.

THREE | Make Music with Kids

Well, you don’t have to be a musician to participate in this activity. This is going to be a fun pretend play activity with kids being the main players. Ask kids to gather their musical instruments. Whether it’s a play drum, a toy guitar, or a pot and a wooden spoon from the kitchen, it will work here. Spread a blanket over the lawn, ask kids to make tickets for their music event, and have them play music just the way they want. It’s their play anyways.

FOUR | Paint Rocks with Watercolors

With the help of your kids, gather some rocks from the backyard or a nearby open field. Have kids paint the rocks with watercolor. They can draw faces, shapes, and patterns using their creativity and imagination.

FIVE | Do Yard Work with Kids

Kids love to participate in adult activities. Planting a row of flowers, creating a tiny garden in the backyard, or simply seeding the lawn are all great daytime activities for this spring and summer.

SIX | Family Playtime

From our list of top ten outdoor activities for kids, family playtime is the most collaborative and can engage almost everyone in the family. When it comes to selecting the fun games to play outside, there are a lot of options out there that can keep the entire family active and entertained for hours. My favorites are definitely Corntoss Bean Bag Game, Pop-2-Play Disc Goalf Game and the Bolo Toss 3D Game.

SEVEN | Build a Playhouse for Kids in your Backyard

If you have the room in your backyard, the passion and a little bit of handyman skills, this could be the perfect activity for you and the family. The idea of having their very own place to play will make children very excited. Kids can help with painting, decorating, and other light-duty activities during the set-up. After completion, you’d be proud and kids will love their playhouse.

EIGHT | Fly Kites

Head out to the near park, beach or an open field and fly a kite with your kids. With a little bit of help from the wind, you should be able to fly your kite in no time. Have fun and just try to stay away from the nearby trees.

NINE | Water Play in the Backyard

Open the sprinklers and have your kids run and jump through the sprinkling water. This is an excellent outdoor activity for kids in a hot summer day. Just be ready to get wet!

TEN | Set-up a Teepee in the Backyard

A teepee will provide your kids hours of great fun outdoors. Help your kids set up their play tent outside and have them furnish it with their favorite toys. Kids can even have a sleepover in the backyard. Just make sure sprinklers are off for the day.