Since children and youth tend to enjoy trying new and diverse pursuits, encourage them in and offer a wide variety of activities. Consider the following suggestions:
Activities of Daily Living
- Enjoy being active while performing some activities of daily living, like housecleaning, mowing the lawn, raking leaves, washing the car, gardening or shopping. These activities are great ways to help out around the house and get some exercise at the same time.
- Go for a walk, hike, jog, or ride your bike, rollerblade or skateboard for fun or as a means to get to various destinations. Take your dog, your friends and/or your family and enjoy the outdoors. If appropriate for your school and location, become familiar with safe active transportation routes so your child can safely walk or bike to school. See: http://www.saferoutestoschool.ca/
Free Play and Service
- Go swimming, play on the playground, build a fort, or enjoy throwing and catching a flying disc or ball with a friend(s).
- Play different games like tag, hide and seek, scavenger hunt, capture the flag, bird watching, hopscotch, and jump rope and four-square. You can socialize with your friends or family while being outside and active.
- During the winter, take advantage of those snowy days by being outside. Try tobogganing, making a snowperson, skiing, or playing pond hockey with friends and family.
- Engage in a service project (e.g., do yard work for the elderly, stock shelves at the food bank).
Low Structured Play
- Design and try a new activity! You can be active and socialize with friends while developing life skills, such as problem-solving, decision-making, and cooperation. For example, design and participate in
- an obstacle course that requires jogging, sprinting, crawling, climbing over, jumping, twisting, throwing, catching, and bending;
- a fun fitness circuit that has unique stations (stretching for flexibility, modified push-ups for upper body strength, step-ups or jump rope for endurance, and the plank for core muscular endurance). Play music and enjoy exercising while interacting with a friend(s) or family member(s).
- Attempt games or sports in the backyard, driveway, or local park/pool that you can play with a friend or by yourself. Consider:
- Target games like golf or disc golf, bowling, boccia, archery and shuffleboard.
- Net games like tennis, badminton, table tennis, beach or pairs volleyball, and pickle-ball. If you have only a wall, practice hitting the tennis ball against the wall with a partner. Make up a fun game.
- Wall games like handball, squash, and racquetball. You can play a modified version of these games using only one wall.
- Alternative activities like orienteering, jogging, cycling, swimming and diving, weight training, dance, gymnastics, track and field events, canoeing, aerobics, martial arts, skateboarding, inline skating, yoga
Play fun Team games/Sports like:
- Striking-Fielding games like softball/baseball (or kickball baseball), rounders, or cricket.
- Territorial games like soccer, basketball, baseball, hockey (or field hockey), lacrosse, or football. Get your family involved over the weekends, or play with friends at recess or after school.
- Be aware of local parks and recreational programs and facilities and how to access them. Try out public skating, bowling or rock climbing. Join a gym (fitness centre), recreation centre, and/or a class in dance or gymnastics.
Join an intramural team or an organized sport or class in one of the activities suggested above at school or in the community. When selecting programs, try to find ones that cover a range of skills.