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On any given weekend morning, our family can almost always be found at a park. Coffee and kids in hand. Rain or shine. We are “those” park-loving people.
With our kids getting a little bit older, we are trying to find ways encourage more physical activity during park visits while still keeping it super fun. (Because kid park giggles are seriously the best thing ever, am I right?)
These tips will help you up the active in your family park visits, keep those kids moving, and contribute to an overall healthier lifestyle for your and your little ones.
How to Up the Active in Your Family Park Visits
1. Start the day off right
If you’ve ever tried to have a park outing with hungry, grumpy kids, you know that it’s ZERO fun. Set yourself up for success by starting the day off right.
Make sure your family starts the day off with a healthy, balanced breakfast, complete with plenty of park fuel. Oatmeal muffins, low-sugar Greek yogurt, and fresh fruit are some of our go-to favorites.
We’ve recently started our family on a tasty and healthy morning vitamin routine, and we make extra sure to get our vitamins in before we hit the park.
Our picky 4 year old loves the great tasting natural flavors of Nature Made® Kids First® Vitamin D Gummies (and we love that they are Gluten Free and contain no preservatives or yeast). Vitamin D is a great pre-park vitamin because it supports healthy bone development†.
The fun gummy form makes it an easy way for kids to take vitamins, and the new great $9.99 price point makes it an option that we can actually afford.
For us parents, we like to start our day off with some immune-system-supporting† Nature Made® Vitamin C Adult Gummies. (Yes, there is such a thing as vitamin gummies for adults. And they are awesome.)
Nature Made had the 1st gummies verified by USP for purity and potency*. Plus they are delicious. As in, I would so eat them as candy if they were candy and not vitamins that should only be consumed as directed. They are that good.
Oh, and a quick bonus for all of my Target shopping mamas—right now you can get 30% off all Nature Made products with Cartwheel, while supplies last. Woohoo!!
Head on over to the pharmacy section of your local Target and getcha some! The Kid First Gummies can be found with the other children’s vitamins, and the Adult Gummies can be found with the other Nature Made vitamins and supplements.
After we are properly fuel by a healthy breakfast and our Nature Made Gummies—park time begins!
2. Pick a park without swings
Anyone else raising swing monsters? Our girls could sit and be pushed on swings for hours if we let them.
While we love a good swing session, sometimes we pick a park that is swing-free so that the little ones will have no choice but to get more active. And honestly? They don’t even really notice.
They excitedly start playing on whatever is available. Climbing equipment is a favorite of theirs and ours. Great way to get in some exercise (and amazing for burning off some of that energy).
3. Pick a park without a playground
Similar to picking a park with no swings, sometimes we will pick a park with no playground. We’ll bring things like chalk to make a hopscotch board, a soccer ball to kick around, or a jump rope to really up the active.
4. Set a time limit for the swings
When we do hit up a park with swings, we set a time limit. With older kids you can set the limit in minutes; with younger kids you can set the limit in “pushes” (e.g. “10 more pushes and we’re all done with swing time!”).
This gives the kids a chance to have fun with their favorite park activity, but also gets them running around, climbing, and exercising before heading home. (Plus, it gives us time to actually drink our coffee. Pushing a swing and drinking coffee shouldn’t be that challenging, but my multiple coffee-stained tshirts suggest otherwise.)
5. Encourage active play by being the example
If it’s been a while since you’ve swung from monkey bars or climbed a rope ladder, jump back in the game—literally! Family park visits are the perfect time to get in there and get active with your kiddos.
Run, play, teach, get silly. Just have some fun with them. They’re only little once, after all. 😉
Do you have any great tips for upping the active in your family park visits? Let me know in the comments!
† These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
*Find those Nature Made USP verified gummies on NatureMade.com/USP