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    Ways to Increase Physical Activity in the Spring

    Now that the weather is warming up, it’s a great time to be outside with your kids and increase everyone’s physical activity. We expend significantly less energy in the winter, and this can affect all of us physically, emotionally, and mentally. Here are some great activities that you and your family can do together to enjoy the spring!

    1. Scavenger hunts. Go outside and plan a scavenger hunt. Place the hunt on a clipboard and ask your children to check off each item that they find. It’s a great way to incorporate reading, writing, listening and visual skills, all while being active with your family. You can either make your own, or CBC kids often has great ones that you can print out. http://www.cbc.ca/parents/play/view/printable-spring-scavenger-hunt
    2. Visit a local farm. Many farms open in the spring and offer activities such as petting zoos, playgrounds or egg hunts. It’s a great way to enjoy the spring weather, and see many of the new baby animals that are born in the spring season!
    3. Sidewalk chalk. Play hopscotch. Draw out snakes or zig zags and practice balancing on them. Playing in a deep squat is a great way to strengthen little legs and work on gross motor skills.
    4. Outdoor attire. Spring is a difficult time to dress young kids! It’s often too warm for winter coats and snow pants, but too cold for sweaters and pants. Invest in good rain boots, wind breakers and splash pants. Dress in layers and add or subtract as necessary to help avoid the frantic “I’m too hot! I’m too cold!” comments!
    5. Go to the park…prepared! Bring a towel and change of clothes with you and go to the park with back up. Slides are often wet with rain, or muddy, and a quick dry off before your kids slide down will increase the time you can spend at the park. Having a change of clothes with you in case your child falls in a puddle or ends up covered in mud.
    6. Clean up your yard. Allow your kids to help you do the spring cleaning in your backyard. Use child sized rakes and make a game out of finding new life and new plants in the backyard.
    7. Litter walk/Earth Day. Bring plastic bags and gloves and help clean the park, trails, or sidewalks of your community. It’s a great way to open the discussion of littering/the environment, as well as helping your community, being physically active and strengthening your legs.
    8. Work on bike riding/scooter/tricycle skills. Ensure even the littlest bike riders have proper fitting helmets to protect their heads, but also to allow them to get used to wearing them from a young age. There are many different ‘bikes’ to choose – from riding on toys, to tricycles, to three wheeled or two wheeled scooters, to bikes with training wheels, balance bikes and ‘big kid’ bikes. Choose the appropriate bike for your child’s age and physical level, and enjoy watching them master a new skill!
    9. Plant flowers and plan your garden. Leaf through gardening books and help your children pick which flowers or foods they would like to grow. Bring them to the store to help pick the seeds, and allow them to help plant them in the back yard. Gardening is great exercise for everyone!
    10. Fly a kite. Make your own or buy one from the dollar stone. The spring is often very windy and great weather to watch those kites soar!

    Spring is a wonderful  season for fresh starts, time with family, and being outdoors! Enjoy the warmer days, because a scorching summer is just around the corner!

    About Kaite Chircop, BPHE (Hons), MSc.PT

    Kaite Chircop is a registered physiotherapist with over 7 years of experience. She is passionate about paediatric healthcare and is excited to be part of the team at Boomerang Health. She has a special interest in treating plagiocephaly and torticollis, as well as developmental assessments for young children.