|Flat Head Syndrome|
|After the Birth|
|Cows Milk Allergy|
|Stillbirth And Neonatal Death|
|Food Glorious Food|
|Health and Illness|
|Money, Money, Money|
|Twins and Multiples|
|Hair and Beauty|
|8 Out Of 10 Mums Say|
With concerns over childhood obesity and scientific evidence stressing the importance of leading an active life in the news, we’ve never been more aware of the necessity to keep our children active
.One such report this week proved that sitting for long periods of time increases the risk of illness, including diabetes and heart disease*, whilst another showed that those who enjoy an active life were likely to live longer and stay healthier**.
Yet watch a toddler run around a playground for five minutes and you’d be hard pushed to understand where these problems come from. The truth is that despite most children being naturally physically active, pressures as they grow up such as homework, a busy family life or worries about not being good at sport, can get in the way of doing enough daily exercise.
Helping your child get to grips with a few key activities and skills will help set them up for an active life. Here are five activities that will instil a healthy sense of adventure and love of being active from an early age.
Taking to the WaterLearning to swim is a
Where to SwimSwimming.org has a ‘Poolfinder’ tool to help you find your local pool, family swimming activities and clubs. Most local swimming pools will provide swimming lessons to help get your child started safely and build confidence.
Picking up a RacquetRacquet sports are great social activities and brilliant for improving coordination that can be used across many sports. It’s also not limited to the court, as tennis coach for Mark Warner family holidays, Henry Emery, explains: “You can introduce a child as young as three to tennis as it’s from this age that they’re able to begin to learn hand eye coordination. Get them started at home with a tennis ball by practising catching and getting use to the bounce of a ball. They can progress to using a tennis racket and playing against a wall.”
Where to PlayTo get
Reading a MapIn this day and age when we are more likely to pick up a smart phone or sat nav to find our way from A to B, knowing how to use a map can be a liberating experience for kids and the start of some great outdoor adventures. If you don’t have one, purchase an Ordnance Survey Explorer Map, and let your child help you plan a route. Pack a lunchbox, clothes for all weathers, a camera and mobile phone before heading off on your own adventure.
For something more structured or to introduce a competitive element, it’s worth trying orienteering where the aim is to navigate in sequence between a set of control points and decide the best route to complete it in the quickest time. Orienteering events and clubs are split into age groups, starting with ten years and under and going right up to 80 and over.
Where to StartA good place to start is the National Trust for ideas on country walks, coastal paths, gardens and parks. British Orienteering holds orienteering events and 26 community orienteering club nights in the UK with the aim of providing weekly training and activities in a non-competitive environment to develop skills in people of all ages and abilities.
Riding a BikeCycling can be the source of many family adventures and learning to ride a bike is a skill that will last your child a lifetime, giving them independence through a healthy mode of transport.
Chris Gleeson, Mountain Bike Guide for Mark Warner’s activity holidays***, explains: “A mile can seem like 10 to a seven year old, so start gently with a few short rides before you plan a whole day out. Keep it fun and adventurous by choosing a round-trip route,
“Cycle to a cafe, the beach, a castle, a park for a picnic or a friend’s house that’s close by and stop at interesting points along the way where you’re likely to spot animals, get a good view and pass through various types of scenery.”
Where to GoIf you have young children a good place to build up a child’s confidence is on family-friendly cycle routes around local parks. To keep older children challenged, jump on the train with your bikes and explore new territory.
Flying a KiteIn the age of advanced computer games like Call of Duty it might sound a bit old school to encourage your children to take up kite flying, but the experience, from choosing the right kite to understanding how to pick a good flying day, will give kids a great sense of achievement and appreciation for the (real) natural elements. Firstly you need a kite, choose between deltas, diamonds and dragon kites for light to medium winds, then look out for days when the wind is between 5-25mph (when leaves and bushes are waving in the wind but not really blowing about).
Where to FlyFind a flying space that is clear, open and away from roads, power lines or airports. Open fields, parks and beaches are great for flying kites. The more room you have, the more line you can let out. For inspiration visit one of the kite flying festivals held across the country and have fun spotting weird and wonderful kite designs.
*Sitting for long periods ‘is bad for your health’, BBC News, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-19910888
** Enjoyment of life ‘key to living longer’, BBC News, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-19926775
***Mark Warner has led the way in family holidays for over 30 years. Mark Warner packages provide superb childcare with kids clubs for all ages and free evening crèche service. For more information, visit www.markwarner.co.uk.
Below is a list of all the Winners of Competitions run on TheBabyWebsite in 2009!
Sally Gunnell - Champion Mum
TheBabyWebsite.com spoke to mother and ex-Olympic Athlete Sally Gunnell. Sally has 3 boys -Finley 8, Luca 6, and Marley 2.
New Findings Reveal Psychological Impact Of Child Illness On Families
Child Illness can have a devastating effect on families.
Having A Baby Is Good For Your Social Life
Having a baby is good for your social life as women make an average of nine new friends in the first year after giving birth.
Necessity is the Mother of Invention
Before my little boy, Laurie, was born, dummies had barely crossed my mind.
If You're Pregnant - Mind Your Back
Pregnancy puts a huge strain on your body - particularly on your lower back in the later months when your bump gets bigger.
How To Be An Amazing Mum - When You Just Don't Have The Time
I used to think that, as a journalist on a national newspaper, I was under a lot of pressure.