Small changes which get children moving can not only have a positive impact on their health, but when you join them, can also help you to feel healthier, stronger, and promote a happy and healthy family bond.

Here are 10 suggestions that can make physical activity fun for all the family. 

1. Set a good example

As a parent, the best thing you can do is set a good example and model the value you put on healthy, active living. Let your child see you being active and most importantly having fun while doing it!

2. Walk or bike instead of drive

When heading to school, practice, or to get errands done, consider leaving the car at home and increasing your activity by walking, biking, or scooting your way there. Be sure to wear proper safety gear like a helmet and teach your children the appropriate hand signals to stay safe on the road.

3. Reduce screen time

Turn off the television, smart phones, and tablets and get outside. Use time previously spent online to bond and be active together outdoors.

4. Dress to move

Hats and running shoes are a must for active outdoor fun during the summertime. Be prepared with water bottles and sun protection and you’re ready to move wherever the day takes you.

5. Create a family habit

Together as a family, decide on an activity everyone can be active and participate in. Whether it’s weekly or monthly, mark this special time in your calendar and keep it a priority.

6. Support your child’s favourite sport

Some children and youth like individual activities liking swimming or gymnastics, while others like team sports like soccer or lacrosse. Take a hint from your child’s interest and get active with what they like to do.

7. Take classes together

Ask around at your local fitness club or community center for family aerobics, swimming lessons, or karate classes. If your child is too young to participate consider searching for a mom and baby yoga class or a stroller fitness boot camp.

8. Register for an active event

If your child is old enough, consider registering and training for a walk, race, or climb for a good cause. Set goals for your experience. These might be related to a finish time in a race or maybe related to having a fun experience (e.g., biggest smile at the finish line or raising the most funds).

9. Make chores active

Cleaning up is rarely fun, but what if it becomes an active game? Rolled up socks make for great hockey pucks or soccer balls, and tea towels can turn a kitchen floor into a skating rink. Integrate a little fun into your chores and the time will fly while everyone’s being active.

10. Play!

Don’t over plan or schedule your time. Simply head outdoors and play! Make up your own games and activities and enjoy wherever you are and whatever is lying around. If your hearts are racing and your laughter can be heard from a mile away, you’re doing it right!


Heather is an educator, curriculum consultant, and blogger in Ontario with over 35 published resources promoting healthy, active living for children and youth. Visit her blog here