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Getting the kids over the January blues!

We have all been there and experienced the after-Christmas feeling. Excitement builds up and then suddenly we have to get back to normal in quick time. The prospect of going back to school looms and suddenly it’s difficult to get your child outside, motivated or in fact willing to do much!

For many children, getting motivated to get back to school and become active can be a bit of a challenge for parents and the child as it often requires re-focusing.

So in today’s blog we thought here at Wicken Toys we’d give you some pointers to encourage your young ones to get moving in 2013, for better health, enjoyment and of course a more active lifestyle.

So why exactly is it so difficult to motivate the children? 

The main issue is that just because you know getting your child to be more active is a good idea, it doesn’t mean to say that they will agree with you.  So consequently there is a bit of a power struggle that goes on.  This is not always the end of the world though and needn’t be a recipe for disaster.

The thing that’s important is encouraging your child to care for themselves as much as you do. That means positive re-enforcement, setting examples yourself and leading by example. Moreover though, it requires you to find ways to inspire them to take control.  Then once you get things started they will be much more inclined to take an active interest in the world around them.

Outdoor play and in fact, any activity outside is always a great way to inspire motivation. Whether it’s playing together in a group or helping in the garden, children like to feel they are contributing for a purpose. Again, just telling them to go and do something provides no real motivation. However, challenge them and you may well see different results.

And before you think you should stand back and watch them getting active, think again!  Whether you trampoline together or add a level of competiveness to building sand castles in the sand tray, let your child feel that they have purpose and that what they do is going somewhere.  Then when they win (you probably will want to let them win on occasion) you can praise them for their hard work.

Letting your child make their own decisions and choices

One fundamentally positive impact of outdoor play is that it allows your children to use their imagination but also it means they can make their own decisions. This really builds their confidence and has a surprising effect on their motivation.  It’s one of the main reasons that outdoor play is encouraged at school.  As well as having health benefits, it simply allows your children to discover the world and relationships for themselves.

Climbing every mountain

An outdoor toy such as a climbing frame can be a perfect way to help them become more active. Rather than see it as a climbing frame, see it as a mountain or indeed whatever your child imagines it to be. Allow them to invite friends over to play and before long, they’ll forget about the prospect of a return to normal life. School will be much easier for them to deal with and they’ll have things to really look forward to!


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