Are you struggling to maintain an efficient bedtime routine for you and your littles? Tired of fighting to keep your child awake in the afternoon in order to savour that full night's sleep? Often find yourself celebrating that little one has made it through the day without that midday nap only to turn and realise they have dropped off in the back of the car during the school run? Another long night ahead¦
Then let's look at this way¦ Did you know, children under 5 years old should be physically active for at least 3 hours every day partaking in light to moderate activities?! Sounds a lot huh?! Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not talking committing to a gruelling 3 hour workout class as we adults might suggest! But any kind of physical activity - be it walking to the local park, taking short advert breaks to perform a ten minute shake-up, or simply doing a lap of the garden every hour can contribute to your little's physical activity total. With the growing concerns over child obesity, diabetes and an early disposition to other life-impacting diseases it's no longer an option to avoid (or leave it up to someone else to!) educate our children in the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
So, how can we inspire our mini me's and make this a part of everyday life without breaking the bank and upsetting current family life? Well, it's time to get creative! Embrace your inner child and use your imagination¦ Maybe think back to when you were little and how much you loved to play out - before the days of games consoles, iPads and transportable DVD players!
Balloon tennis - grab a balloon or two, a relatively open space and turn off any technology. Instruct your little one that the aim of the game is to keep the balloon off of the floor! Take turns to pass between each other. Time for an extra challenge and see if you can beat your previous score. Mix up with different shaped balloons or even add in an extra one to advance. If you find yourself getting more into it add a washing line and create teams with other family members!
Long jump challenge - Try this outside if you require more space. Lay an old bedsheet out on the garden - grass works perfect as a soft surface! Create a start line and have child stand behind before jumping and hurling self forwards. Mark where they land and take turns in trying to beat this. Add a run up for an extra boost or a hop, skip and a jump to test co-ordination.
Over/ under obstacle course - make use of household items and create a mini adventure in your own house! Need inspiration? Under dining chairs, over laundry basket, under bedsheet, over hosepipe, weaving in and out of tin cans. Theme it for extra excitement! Think pirates looking for treasure or princess making their way to the enchanted castle!
Like the sound of this? This is just the beginning! Why not come and explore the different worlds in which our âTinkies' reside. Xercise4Kids is a free exercise programme aimed at 3-5 year olds and their adult, promoting physical activity through play sessions themed around a specific environment with friendly inspirational characters the children can relate to. Children's imaginations are stimulated whilst they are taken on an adventure in which tasks specifically designed to improve cardiovascular systems, major muscle groups and motor skills are incorporated. For more information, contact your local Xercise4Less or visit the website