Fall family fun doesn’t have to be a big production.
Most media-savvy parents are probably getting rather discouraged these days. We’re constantly being blitzed with facts and figures which show that North American children and youth are becoming heavier, more sedentary and less healthy by the year. The average parent spends each day trying to do the best by their family, so it’s disheartening to hear that as a group, we all need to get off the couch and get with the program.
So what’s a parent to do? First and most importantly, don’t get discouraged! In this age of social media, people only post their most fun, Facebook-worthy family moments, but don’t think that you need to schedule a picture-perfect outing to the pumpkin patch in order to make your time worthwhile. One of the biggest mistakes we make is thinking that we need to make special and elaborate plans to keep kids active and engaged. Most children these days have busy schedules to rival those of their parents, so for kids, the important thing is spending time with the family, period. Just being silly together is the most fun possible.
That being said, do get outdoors and enjoy the beautiful fall weather. Visit a large city park and take a long walk with the kids, stopping to enjoy the changing leaves. Collect your favorite leaves to take home and display or use in craft projects. Try to spot different animals (squirrels, chipmunks, even foxes if you’re lucky) and insects and take the opportunity to talk about hibernation and migration as the weather gets cooler.
Rainy days don’t mean staying inside either! Bundle the kids up well in a raincoat, rain boots and an umbrella and let them splash around in the biggest puddles. For small children especially, there’s something magical about being dry and comfortable while exploring the wet, rainy outdoors.
Once again, keep it simple and get back to basics. Simple activities like bike rides, walks, backyard baseball, trips to an outdoor farmer’s market, and yes, even trips to a nearby pumpkin patch all provide great opportunities for family bonding. The fact is, most activities that involve movement also involve spending time together.
Canadian families: stop staring at your screens, stop over-thinking and start having some more family fun!
Today’s post is written by Emily Bain, Administrative Director of Children’s Fitness Centres of Canada. The Children’s Fitness Centres of Canada are dedicated to the advancement of health and skill-related fitness to youth across Canada.