Encouraging the Kid Couch Potato

Is your child content to chill in front of the tv or on an iPad? For some kids getting an hour of daily exercise is easy because they never stop moving. But for other kids, it can be difficult to get them off the couch. Don’t give up! Physical activity is really important to maintain a healthy weight, build their confidence and create strong muscles and bones.

The museum is four floors of active fun. Few kids leave the museum without expending a lot of energy. Even though we’re open 6 days week, coming to play here every day just isn’t practical. So bring the fun home and get your couch potato movin’ and groovin’.

Tips to get your kids moving

  • Set an example yourself! Parents who model healthy habits like taking the stairs in the mall and going for walks any time of the day inspire their kids.
  • Make exercise a reward. Did someone make his bed without asking? Reward him with a game of hopscotch out front.
  • Keep active toys handy. Keep a box of balls, jump ropes or even sidewalk chalk near the front door.Then make it habit to grab something to play with everyday.
  • Bring a friend. Invite the neighbors or your daughter’s besty over and plan an afternoon of yard games or go to a park.
  • Be spontaneous. Every parent has something to worry about. Set those worries aside for 5 minutes and be silly. Play peek a boo around the corner and start a game of chase in the house.
  • Make time. Resist the urge to squeeze one more thing into your schedule or sign up your son for that soccer skills clinic. If you don’t fill up every extra minute you’ll easily have time to get active.
  • Have fun. If your kids aren’t having fun they won’t want to do it. Just keep trying and you’ll eventually find something even the most dedicated YouTuber will love to do.
  • Put your child in charge. If your kid gets to choose what to do, she’ll be sure to pick something she likes. Having a say in the activity will give her a sense of control.
  • Change it up. Do you always walk the dog? Make your daily walk unique. Why not create a scavenger hunt and try to find 25 acorn “hats” or count the squirrel nests in the empty fall trees?
  • Take a trip. To a child a visit to the grocery store can be an adventure. Minneapolis-St. Paul is full of parks, community centers and museums that cater to families and provide many opportunities to break a sweat.

A big, healthy thanks to United Health Foundation for their support of children’s health through physical activity at the museum.

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