It was a beautiful weekend here in Iowa. And my kids got plenty of time to play outdoors; at a birthday party in a park, at a family gathering with their cousins, walking the dog, and working outside with their dad.
But not every weekend is the same. Sometimes, the weather is crummy or the kids get zoned out in front of the tv and don’t go outside.
Truth be told, those days affect them. They are grouchier, restless, and more obstinate. But a change of scenery and a chance to use their large motor skills can help.
Both exercise and time outdoors have been shown to improve mood and brain function. So make an effort, even when the weather’s not great, to get your kids outside. When weather really makes it impossible (Iowa in February, for example) try some large motor games inside. My boys love trying to keep a balloon from hitting the ground, throwing ball-pit balls at a “spider web” of painter’s tape across a doorway, and doing Wii Just Dance. Kids gyms and indoor playgrounds are great options, too.
Don’t underestimate the power of active play!
(This post is part of a Secrets from a Teacher to Make You a Better Parent, a part of the write31days.com challenge. The best way to keep up with this series is to subscribe via email here.)