School districts vary widely in the amount of physical education they offer, so it’s especially important for parents to encourage physical activity and model good behavior. Organize family activities that incorporate physical activity, such as walks and bike rides. Outdoor chores such as raking leaves or shoveling are a good way to squeeze exercise into a busy weekend.
Not Active Enough
If you are concerned that your child is not active enough, try to find ways to make physical activity more enjoyable for her. For example, inviting friends over to play outside might motivate her. Or having you offer to kick a ball or play catch with their could spark their interest.
Natural Athletic Ability
It is around this age that some children start to demonstrate natural athletic ability and inclination, while others begin to resist physical activity and to think of themselves as “not sporty.” Even if your child doesn’t seem to take to sports naturally, encourage your child to try out different activities and to find one that suits her. Some children resist team sports but can excel at individual sports like tennis or track. Make sure you let your daughter sample a variety of sports to find their interest, and think of non-traditional sports, like fencing or archery that might appeal to her. Reward and encourage persistence, so that even if she is not a “natural athlete” she learns to enjoy participating and pushing themselves to improve.
Not Getting Enough Sleep
If you notice that your child consistently needs assistance waking up, is tired and grumpy, is regularly falling asleep in the car or at school and/or is constantly misbehaving during the day, they are most likely not getting enough sleep. Consider adjusting their bedtime earlier by incrementally changing it by 15 minutes until you notice improvements in their mood and functioning during the day.
Toys That Require Movement
Encourage physical activity by giving your child toys that require movement, such as a kite, scooter, or jump rope.