With Spring in full swing, I invite you to take advantage of the longer days to and look for opportunities to be active with your families. Physical activity is very important for healthy development and it’s great to introduce the habit at an early age. Children need to be physically active for at least one hour per day. An easy way to make sure they are getting enough activity is to limit screen time – television, computers, and video games – to less than two hours per day, and no screen time for children under the age of 2. The less time they are in front of a screen, the more time they have to be hopping, running, skipping or just exploring their backyard. Provide a safe environment for play with lots of active toys – like balls and jump ropes – for your children. As the role model, consider activities that the entire family can do together – a scavenger hunt, go for a walk or dance! Make it fun for the entire family and remember to talk with your little ones as you’re interacting with them.
Take the opportunity to engage your children in the experience by finding opportunities to initiate conversation about what they are doing or what they see. Remember that genuine and meaningful conversations help young children develop larger vocabularies and strengthen parent-child relationships—strong predictors for a child’s ability to succeed in school.