EDITOR’S NOTE: City Dads Group is working with longtime partner Dove Men+Care to create “how to” videos for the grooming products company’s “Dads Care” campaign. We will be featuring the videos and scripts our members appear in. This one features Drew Bennett of our Boston Dads Group, with a little help from his son, Andy, talking about how to help kids stay physically active. https://www.youtube.com/embed/5BechfYINwI
When the COVID-19 quarantine happened, I became the de facto phys ed teacher for our family, tasked with keeping us healthy and physically active. Here’s three important tips if you find yourself in the same role or just want to get every one away from their screens and moving again.
Make sure that every day or every other day you are doing something. Let your children know that some sort of physical activity is on the schedule, and that we’re doing it no matter what.
Andy and I go for a walk every morning. It helps get our day going with a little energy. We also take martial arts classes twice a week via Zoom. We make sure we do those classes at the same time so we having something to look forward to on a regular, consistent basis.
Turn a game into a physical activity and vice versa
We set up in our backyard something that that we use for a game in order to try some different physical activities. For example, we make challenges out of things like push-ups or high knees or jumping in and out of boxes. We took some chalk and turned our walkway into
a kind of ladder with different colored squares (you can also do this if you have a real ladder you can lay on the ground). You can decide that every square you step in requires a different activity, like doing high knees in one and jumping jacks in another, or just have your kids run in and outs through every square.
Make it a challenge
Here’s an example of how we get two things done at once. Matching up socks from the laundry is a chore, right? Not if you challenge your child to see who can match them up faster. For every pair of socks, I match Andy has to do a push-up. For every pair he matches, I have to do a push-up. We go until we finish all of the socks — it’s a fun and physically active way to complete a not-so-fun task.