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Cabin Fever

4 Jan 2011 09:05:28

I love snowy days, cosy family time inside and of course Christmas but as we settled into the lack of routine of the school holidays inactivity took hold. Without letting off steam my son in particular becomes irritable and resistant to doing anything apart from playing with his toys. I have therefore always tried daily to take the kids out for some fresh air and exercise even if it has just been ten minutes in the garden. This year so far the weather has been particular challenging and my 2 year old daughter is not good in the cold even when wrapped up in 5 layers! When the weather was good we went exploring in the snow, walked across the fields and took out the scooters...but the weather has too often been our biggest challenge, infact for about three weeks of December the pavements were so icy it was dangerous to even walk a few steps. So we have tried to be inventive. Trips to the golf driving range, games of kwik cricket inside, indoor obstacle courses and obviously sledging. We could have gone to soft play but I am not a fan in the school holidays as it is so packed and a haven for tummy bugs. How do you all keep your children active or is it best just to accept that these cold dark months are times for hibernation?
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From our experience, getting kids involved in sport early on not only leads to the fitness and health benefits but also builds confidence. Don't take our word for it, read this article from the

Getting kids involved in sport at a young age can help with fitness and social skills, says Early Years Coach John McCallum. GETTING your children active now will stand them in good stead for later life. Kids should clock up an hour of activity five days a week. But dark, cold days make the lure of TV, DVDs and video games hard to ignore. Many parents overestimate how active their children actually are. One study, by the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, suggested as few as three in every 100 are actually active for an hour every day. Significant numbers of kids are overweight and one in five children in Scotland could face health problems as adults unless families are encouraged to become more active. Regular exercise significantly reduces the chances of coronary heart disease, stroke and diabetes.

"If we give kids a positive experience of activity when they are young, hopefully it will encourage them to take part in sport and be active as they grow," said John McCallum, the Early Years Coach at Active Stirling.

John has been teaching nursery kids as young as three activities based on rugby, basketball, dance and orienteering. He said: "It develops their social skills as they learn teamwork, sharing and taking turns. It also helps coordination, interaction, and language. You can tell the difference in the kids who've had the chance to develop active skills. They're more confident and better coordinated."
Schools are only required to offer children two hours of PE every week so the onus is on parents to ensure their kids get enough exercise after school, at weekends and during holidays.

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