Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Get the Kids Off the Couch with Outdoor Activities!

As we all know, eating healthy is just one part of combating childhood obesity. Exercise is also super important. But how do we get kids to turn off the TV and get off the couch? As parents, our job is to not give them a choice! But it does take a bit of preparation and effort on our part, in order to avoid pouting and tears. Have activities and crafts planned out ahead of time, or sit down with your kids and plan stuff together. Good practices start early, so if your kids are young, now’s the time to mold their lifestyle into a healthy one. To help you all, below is a list of some excellent web sites with outdoor activities and indoor crafts to keep your kids busy during the summer and on weekends.

First of all, my favorite site is The Magnifying Glass: An On-line Nature Journal. This blog is written by two moms, both of whom are raising 3 young boys. But even if you have niñas at home, this site is an awesome resource with descriptions of fun-tastic and educational outdoor activities for children.

OutdoorActivitiesForKids.com is another super site that is just filled with games and activities that kids can do outside. From backyard bowling to betting on bug races, to hosting a mini-Olympics, this site has some great ideas. They have even categorized activities by age (2–6 or 6-10) and number of participants (alone, group, party, etc.)

I just found the Boomerang! blog which provides a lot of ideas on ways to connect with your family over projects. They are also the founders of Boomerang! an audio program for kids ages 6 –12. In each hour-long episode, the Boomerang! kids present stories about big ideas: science, current events, history, economics, poetry, geography, jokes, mysteries and more.

KidsOffTheCouch.com offers a weekly newsletter that takes kids’ favorites - books, movies, music - and combines them with family activities to get kids off the couch and away from the TV.

Because Latin Baby is dedicated to the health of our Latino children, we have created a special section in our Book Club Shop where you can purchase books that are filled with great ideas for outdoor activities. Here are just a few titles that are listed in our shop:

501 Tv-free Activities for Kids by Penny Warner

Kids Camp!: Activities for the Backyard or Wilderness by Laurie Carlson, Judith Dammel

Green Thumbs: A Kid's Activity Guide to Indoor and Outdoor Gardening by Laurie Carlson

Outdoor Activities for Kids: Over 100 Fun, Practical Things To Do Outside by Care Bradley

Yoga Games for Children: Fun and Fitness with Postures, Movements and Breath by Danielle Bersma, Marjoke Visscher

I Love Dirt!: 52 Activities to Help You and Your Kids Discover the Wonders of Nature by Jennifer Ward

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