Getting Activity Each Day at School
Find out how much physical activity your child is getting each day at school and what sorts of activities they are doing in gym class or at recess. This will give you a better understanding of their overall level of physical activity.
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.
Toys that Require Movement
Encourage physical activity by giving your 4th grader toys that require movement, such as a kite, scooter, or jump rope.
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 him. For example, inviting friends over to play outside might motivate him. Or having you offer to kick a ball or play catch with him 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 them to try out different activities and to find one that suits him. Some children resist team sports but can excel at individual sports like tennis or track. Make sure you let them sample a variety of sports to find their interest, and think of non-traditional sports, like fencing or archery that might appeal to him. Reward and encourage persistence, so that even if your child is not a “natural athlete” your 4th gader learns to enjoy participating and pushing themselves to improve.
Not Getting Enough Sleep
If you notice that your 4th grader consistently needs assistance waking up on a daily basis, 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.