Ten ideas to get your kids active outdoors

Family bike riding together.

At a glance

  • Never underestimate the humble pushbike.
  • Walk the dog, or your neighbour's dog, with the kids.
  • Organise for your child to meet with other friends down at the park.
  • Go swimming at the beach, the pool or swimming lessons.
  • Picnic near a kids' playground.

Mum and physical education teacher Jenny Ekanayake gives her favourite tips for getting the kids physically active and out of the house.

  1. Actively watch your kids play sport and take the kids to watch you play sport – it's a guaranteed motivator for more activity and a good conversation starter around the dinner table.
  2. Walk dogs with the kids – suggest they ride their scooter or bike instead of walking. If you don't have a dog, ask to borrow the neighbour's one.
  3. Never underestimate the humble pushbike. Encourage your kids to ride their bike safely around the street or round the block, and go with them to the local park or on established bike tracks.
  4. On holidays or weekends at the beach, bring boogie boards, go walking, rock climbing, play in the sand or have a game of beach cricket. (Don't forget sunscreen and hats.)
  5. Go swimming at the beach, the local pool, friends' places and swimming lessons. If you're the family with the pool, have your kids invite their friends over for a swim.
  6. Ask your child to invite some friends to meet at the local park or oval to kick a ball around. The more people who play, the more active the game can be.
  7. Keep a box of sports equipment – balls, frisbees, racquets, flippers and diving mask, quoits, etc – in a plastic container and throw them in the car when you're going out so you've got something on hand to play with wherever you are.
  8. Walk to school. If it's too far, drive halfway and then walk. When you're picking up kids from school, park a short distance away, walk in and walk the kids back to the car.
  9. Get your kids to join Cubs, Scouts or Guides – these organisations do a lot of activities that are not always easy to do as a family, such as wide games (games that use a large area of land), orienteering, bushwalks and rafting.
  10. Visit a skateboard park – you can take along a scooter or bike if your kids don't have a skateboard. They're good value and your kids learn about turn-taking and spatial awareness by not getting in the way.

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