Kids, Activities, and Physical Activity

September 14, 2010 at 2:36 am 1 comment

One evening in early August, I stayed up until 12:01 am to make sure that we got the kids into the right overlapping swimming lessons at our local community centre. 

Then, a couple of weeks later, I had my alarm set to remind me that I had to call the skating school at exactly 8:30 am with my preference for day and time for semi-private skating lessons for the boys.  Somewhere during this time period, I also managed to register for preschool music, piano lessons, basketball, and downhill skiing (of course, this one doesn’t begin until January when swimming will be over).

I imagine that the above activity planning and registration process took at least eight hours.

This of course doesn’t take into account the conversations and consultations with friends about which dates, times, locations, activities are most worthwhile, age-appropriate, convenient, and not over-priced.

And then, before that, there were the conversations with Derek about who needed to be where at what time, what we thought the kids would benefit from and enjoy most, what our personal priorities are (Derek=basketball) and is there a car available (we have only one)?

So, after all that, I have a big question:  Does everyone go through this?   Our schedule is all entered into Google calendar so Derek and I can both access it.  Now, before you automatically assume I need to get another hobby (or a paying job outside my home), I have to explain that having one car does increase our need for scheduling…  but go ahead now, assume away.

Let’s get back to the kids. 

Now that their schedules are set in stone (or in Google), I am pondering the amount of daily physical activity they will be getting. 

Over the course of the summer, the boys spent hours in camps playing sports and games, swimming, and climbing play structures.  Then, they would come home and we would ride bikes, play soccer at the beach, go to a wading pool or to their grandparents’ pool.  I was usually trying to slow them down (often resorting to TV to keep them inside and still for more than five minutes). 

I noticed, especially with Lil D, that their caloric needs were much greater than they had been during the school year.

And here we are, back at school, back in our routine.  I am once again working on ideas to keep them moving.  The most recent government guideline recommends 90 minutes of daily physical activity for children.  On weekends, this is no problem.  But during the week, there may be more of a need to be creative, especially later in the week as they get tired and just want to veg out after school. 

I must admit, I am more concerned about Lil C at this point.  He loves being carried.  When Lil D was three, I had Lil C so Lil D often had no choice but to get around on his own.  Lil C wants to be carried everywhere.  We can be two steps away from a destination, and as we exit the car or stroller, he will ask to be carried.  He will often sit at the bottom of the stairs (we enter our home at basement level) and whine “carry, carry”… until (we usually) come to his rescue.  The problem is both his and ours… and it has to change.  I think just walking those extra few steps throughout the day will do a lot for his physical activity accumulation.

Is this a typical seasonal thing in our country?  I suppose that would make sense, but as a dancer growing up, my most active time was during the school year so this is new to me. 

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Entry filed under: Fitness, Parenting. Tags: , , , , .

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