Fall Kids’ Physical Activity Update
When school started for the boys in September, I was concerned about the probable decrease in their physical activity. They would be going from summer days full of day camps and sports to school days spent quietly working. I wrote this post about it.
I thought this would be a good time to update you on my observations:
1. Yes, physical activity is definitely less than during the summer, but the boys are still getting between 1.5 hours to 2.5 hours of good physical play daily. At school, they play outside for a full hour after lunch. It seems the outdoor play is very much split by gender with the girls mostly playing princess pretend games and the boys playing hockey or football. I get a daily report on the lunchtime game including scores, positions played, and exceptional plays.
2. Saturdays the boys have been taking skating lessons together. They skipped this week because, in their words, “they don’t like falling”. I’m not sure this activity has been a huge hit. I don’t like skating so I’m not sad. Either is Derek – he has weak ankles.
3. Sunday mornings have included swimming lessons. I had only planned on doing the fall session which ended late November, but they both expressed a desire to continue, so we’re rolling with it.
4. Monday evenings Lil D has been doing an hour of “Small Ball” basketball. He is the youngest in the class but could be one of the most intense. It’s a full hour of running games and drills. He finishes red-faced and happy.
5. Lil D did 2 introductory sessions of karate. He really enjoyed it. In January he will do this once a week.
6. The boys love to run around our house. Our staircase is in the centre of the house and the boys can run around it. They often just do laps for fun. Or they ask us to time them. Or they play a new game which I think may become an olympic competition in the 2026 Olympics. It’s called “Ear Contest”. You get one point for touching your opponents right ear, two points for touching your opponents left ear, and 3 points for touching both at once (at first there was a bonus for this but there was an official rule change about a week ago). They can play this game for over 30 minutes without getting bored. The final scores are usually close to 100 (good preschool math reinforcement).
This morning “Ear Contest” was replaced by an obstacle course. They brought small pylons up from downstairs and used them, among other things, to create their own course. It was so cute. Except when they kept trying to run through my legs as I was working in the kitchen.
7. Ski season is upon us! At his request, Lil D is registered for daily lessons between Christmas and New Year’s and again for 9 weekly lessons beginning in January. We bought ski stuff for Lil C. I think I will take him a couple of times over the holidays and again on Lil D’s lesson days. I will definitely put him in some private lessons to get his ski feet before I take him on my own. I know my limits when it comes to patience and teaching skills. Both Lil D and Lil C have friends who will be skiing with them this year. I can’t wait.
Overall, I’m pleased that they seem to crave the activity and I’m doing all I can to encourage it. They do consume fewer calories than they did in the summer (I don’t count; I just know how many snacks I pack and how much they eat), and that also reassures me that they are listening to their bodies rather than eating for the sake of eating.
How are your kids fairing this fall? Do you notice more lethargy in the darker months? And less or more eating? I would love to know what other kids are doing to stay active.