The week of August 4-10 is National Exercise with Your Child Week. Here at the library, we’re all about encouraging children to exercise their bodies as well as their minds. Many children today are often stuck inside glued to the TV or computer screen, and sadly, lots of parents struggle to get their children outside.
While we don’t encourage running in the library, we do have resources to help you get your child interested in various fun outdoor games or sports! Many times children just need one activity or sport that they love, something that will make it easier for them to get out and play.
If you’re rusty on how to play childhood games like kick the can, tag, hide-and-seek, leapfrog, hopscotch, and marbles, you can remind yourself with Let’s Play: Traditional Games of Childhood. This book gives clear instructions for these games and activities, many of which are more than a hundred years old. Brush up on the rules, and drag your children out, and play until the sun goes down (and then play some more!).
For football fans, the book Family Huddle, is a charming story featuring young brothers Peyton, Eli, and Cooper Manning, who along with their father, retired NFL pro Archie Manning, spend lots of time practicing and playing football, and playing sports trivia games while on a family trip to visit both sets of grandparents. Other football books written by or about pro players include End Zone, Red Zone, and Wild Card, featuring twins Tiki and Ronde Barber as youth.
From learning ballet to jumping and hopping around to loud music, dance is an activity the whole family can enjoy, either indoors or out. The book Capoeira: Game! Dance! Martial Art! takes a look at Capoeira, a mixture of a game, a dance, and a martial art that originated within the slave culture during the 1700s in Brazil. This centuries-old Brazilian martial art incorporating traditional movements and rhythmic music is popular today as an energetic game played throughout the United States and around the world.
The best thing you can do to encourage your children to be active and exercise is to do it with them. So this week, and every week after that, find an activity, exercise, or sport you all enjoy (even if it is just walking around the block, taking a bike ride, or playing cornhole) and get those young–and old–bodies off the couch and moving!
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