Real Advice For Real Life

Parenting Expert Advice from Author and America’s Nanny,

Michelle LaRowe

Getting the Kids Moving

springWith the days of snow and freezing temperatures quickly fading into the distant past, spring flowers and green grass provide the ultimate playground for kids of all ages.

And it may be hard to believe that with all the wiggling, moving, running and jumping young children do throughout the day, it’s still not enough physical activity. But according to the Institute of Medicine, the number of overweight children aged 2 to 5 has doubled in the last 30 years.


So with the rising rate of childhood obesity it’s more important then ever that we encourage our kids to get out and get active. Now after a winter season of mostly staying put and drinking hot cocoa by the warm fire, how can parents help their children transition from indoor time to outdoor time and to foster an attitude of activeness in young kids?

Toddlers and preschool aged children should be encouraged to take part in 30-60 minutes of structured or planned physical activity per day.

And it doesn’t have to be a continuous hour of activity.

Time spent going for a nature walk, kicking around a soccer ball and running backyard races can easily accumulate to an hour of physical activity over the course of a day. And although some activities like dancing and makeshift bowling can be done inside of the house, there is nothing like fresh air and open space to encourage physical activity in young children.

But besides structured active time, look for natural opportunities to get your child moving throughout the day.

Put some music on and encourage kids to dance around. Freeze dance is a great game kids love to play. When out and about, allow time for your child to be outside of the stroller and to walk beside you, rather than to sit and be strolled. If you’re gardening, encourage your child to grab his pint sized shovel and to plant alongside you.

Find Opportunites for Movement

Parking away from the grocery store entrance, taking the family dog for a walk, and walking to preschool or daycare (if it’s a short enough distance away) are all great ways to encourage physical activity throughout the day. Encouraging kids to take part in active, rather than sedative play is another way to get young children moving.

Board games and blocks are great mind boosters, but kids need body boosters too. Children love navigating mom made backyard obstacle courses, playing at the playground, climbing on play structures and swinging on swings. Turning playtime into active time is the best way to make moving fun.

Make Sure Daycare and Preschool have active time

And if your child is enrolled in a daycare or a preschool program, you’ll want to be sure that they include active play in their daily routine. Programs should have set times for outdoor play each day and you’ll want to be sure that teachers and staff encourage kids to be active during that time.

You’ll also want to limit TV time.

If you’re going to allow a daily dose of the boob tube, save it for when it’s dark out or when the weather isn’t conducive to playing outdoors. And remember kids model what they see.

Seeing mom walk, rather than take the car to the corner store, going for a daily jog or taking the family dog for a nightly stroll show your child that moms need to get moving too.

So with the warm weather coming in, make a conscious decision to foster an attitude of activeness in your children this season. Take time to play outside, go for walks and enjoy all of nature that winter had hidden away.

More Parenting Advice:

7 Tips to Positive, Effective Child Discipline

Toddler Temper Tantrums Real Advice for Real Life from the American Nanny

Michelle La Rowe

Michelle La Rowe

About America's Nanny:

Michelle is an active member of the nanny community. She is the founder and president of Boston Area Nannies, Inc., a local non-profit educational organization and has served on the International Nanny Association Board of Directors.

She is called on by the media as a nanny and parenting expert and has been affectionately dubbed America's Nanny. Michelle has appeared on television and has been featured in print.

Podcast of Interview with
America's Nanny

Books by Michelle LaRowe

A Mom's Ultimate Book of Lists: 100+ Lists to Save You Time, Money and Sanity - Grocery lists. Checklists. To-do lists. Lots of people love--and live by--lists. And parents are no exception. Today's families are busier than ever, and moms don't have the time or energy to search and scramble for the parenting information they are desperately seeking. This handy, practical reference guide will save time, money, and sanity for today's busy women.

Working Mom's 411 is your one-stop resource guide for navigating through the often choppy waters of managing kids, career and home.

Nanny to the Rescue - America's nanny offers a large dose of healthy parenting advice with secrets for raising happy, secure, and well-balanced babies and toddlers.

Nanny To the Rescue Again - Faced with multiple choices regarding school, friends, and activities coupled with the ever-widening influence of the outside world, parents of 6-12-year-olds need help. America's nanny is back to offer a large dose of healthy parenting advice with secrets for raising happy, secure, and well-balanced children.
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Michelle La Rowe La RoweAmerican NannyReal Advice For Real LifeParenting Expert Advice from Author and America's Nanny, Michelle LaRoweGetting the Kids Moving With the days of snow and freezing temperatures quickly fading into the distant past, spring flowers and green grass provide the ultimate playground for kids of all ages.And it may be hard to believe...Parenting Advice| Family Fun Activities for Kids