4 Active Ideas for Kids Who Love Watching Sports on TV
Just as we do every four years, many of us – and our kids – have spent a lot of time this summer watching elite competitions on television. These events have been inspiring and motivational — from gymnastics to swimming, top athletes truly show us the value of dedication and focus.
Kids, in particular, can learn a great deal from watching these elite athletes, and even as the competitions wind down, you can turn kids’ interest into a potentially lifelong love for physical activity. Here are some ideas to get them medal-ready:
1. Let them “create” their sport
Whatever your kids love watching the most, you can encourage them to do a version of it for fun. Ask them to put together a way for them to do it at home. Children are incredibly creative, so giving them control over how to replicate an activity will likely result in some unique combinations.
You might end up with “swimming” in the kiddie pool or “gymnastics” using a plank of wood in the backyard. They might even invent a new one altogether. As long as they’re practicing safely, let them brainstorm their own events.
If there’s a track at your kids’ school, that can be a great way to tap into their creativity while connecting them to more traditional sports.
2. Learn a sport or skill featured on TV
If your child or children like to watch a sport, that’s a great sport for them to learn to play. From gymnastics to judo and rowing to wrestling, there’s a youth fitness program that’s right for your family.
Even if you’re not looking for one specific sport, there are many opportunities to take a general approach to “getting active” in a group, class-based atmosphere that makes training as fun to do as it is to watch.
3. Start a mini event
Remember, televised competitions aren’t just about the events — they’re also about anticipation of the events. The build-up to the sports creates a sense of excitement, and you can spark that same enthusiasm in kids.
Schedule your own mini games, either with the sports they’ve created or more traditional options like running on a track or doing archery. Pick a date at least few weeks into the future so you can invite other kids to participate, and encourage “training” sessions leading up to the big day.
It also helps to go all out in terms of working together to embrace the theme. For example, you can create signage, like an “athlete's only” sign, for a kid’s bedroom door to add a little more “specialness”. You can also encourage kids to come up with team names, and have them create mascots out of toys or pets.
This kind of build up is important for helping kids see that being active can be fun, and that getting involved is part of the excitement of fitness.
4. Get medals for everyday achievements
The medal ceremonies are always one of the most exciting and emotional aspects of the games. They acknowledge the highest achievement of the sport. But medals don’t have to be given only for athletic prowess.
You can reward kids for making an effort at increasing their activity. For example, you can award a “bronze” for going to a fitness class a few times per month, a “silver” for going once a week, and “gold” for twice a week. With younger kids, it’s also fun to have them create their own medals. That helps to get them more invested in earning them.
Watching sports on tv and coming up with their own medal-winning tactics is a great start for getting kids more active. Keep that spirit rolling by checking out youth classes by signing up for a UFC GYM Free Pass.