When is playing video games unhealthy? How long is too long to be in front of a video game or television? How do you create the balance between video games and fresh air? Your schedule is full already with after school activities and music lessons; where can you find the time to spend outside doing some fun physical activities with your kids?

Today the average child between the age of five to seventeen years old require sixty minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity per week. Only seven percent of children in this age range actually meet this requirement. Is the rest of their time spent in front of a computer or video game or TV.

What as parents can we do to encourage our children to get involved in sports for kids? How can we show our children the benefits of physical activity?

As parents we can start by:

1. Being the leader. Set an example for your kids. Through the simple actions of you balancing your work, household duties and a busy family schedule; your children will learn the importance of a balanced lifestyle. Remember your kids are watching you and they learn allot from you, even though they would not admit it!

2. Set time limits. Put time limits on video games, TV watching and computer time. Setting limits on screen time will stop this activity from taking over the little spare time you have as a family.

3. Plan daily outdoor activities. Even if it is only for 30 minutes outside. Take the dog for a walk, play at the park, a play date with friends; take sometime to go outside with your children and discover your backyard.

4. Plan weekend activities. This is where you can get real creative. Plan a scavenger hunt, go on a hike (age appropriate, of course), canoeing, swimming or outdoor festivals. Are all great ways to encourage physical activities for children.

5. Weather is not co-operating. We can’t manage Mother Nature, so maybe this will be the day that you, as a family, play video games or watch movies. Offer healthy snacks during your screen time. Still keep it to a time limit. After the video game tournament get the kids excited about doing a craft or baking. Reading a captivating book, creating funny voices and acting out the characters, will spice up the afternoon.

6. Earn video or TV time. Encourage balance by allowing your children to earn their screen time. Give them five to ten minutes as a bonus when they have completed their chores, homework or played outside.

The benefits of physical activity in children is unmeasurable. Physical activity promotes a healthy lifestyle, stress relief, sportsmanship, endurance, gross motor skills and builds muscle. Combined physical activity with the outdoors, promotes a curiosity for nature and discovery. Children will build strong self-esteem and confidence with a balance between video games and outdoor activity.

Remember, when you where young...the hours spent outside playing in the mud, swinging on the swings to see who could touch the sky first or playing cops and robbers in the park. Wouldn’t it be great to relive those memories with your children? Just think of the memories you will create with your children today by pulling them off the couch into the outdoors! How will you be part of creating balance in your child’s life?

Let us know about your outdoor adventure, we would love to hear from you!

Author's Bio: 

Hi my name is Kathryn Kessler. I am a children's picture book author. My first published book is titled, Marvin Discovers Snow, and with this book I created MarvinDiscovers. At MarvinDiscovers I share my passion for families connecting with their children on a creative level. I am passionate about the precious time families spend together discovering the world through their children’s eyes. I have raised two wonderful young men who are leading their own successful lives and I am a grandmother to a beautiful little girl. I know what it takes to raise children in the busy world of schedules, practices and homework. I also write articles for families on everyday family topics. These articles have been posted at www.ideamarketers.com. I invite you to discover my website, www.marvindiscovers.com and I look forward to sharing my passion with you.