Being active as a family helps children feel confident about themselves and their bodies as they grow.
Research shows that many children spend more time in front of a screen than they do reading, talking with family and friends, or playing outside. Too much screen time can affect their health and is associated with being overweight, trouble sleeping, and lower reading scores in school.
Although some screen time can be educational or even encourage physical activity, experts recommend limiting screen time to less than 2 hours a day for teens, less than 1 hour a day for children ages 2 through 12, and no screen time is recommended for children under 2 years old.
Help your kids find fun things to do and get the family moving!
Adults need 30 minutes of physical activity a day, and children need 60 minutes. Try these activites together to reach your goals.
- Go to a park and play games like “Simon Says” or tag. Try other versions like freeze tag!
- Involve the family in household chores and yard work.
- Ask your district if your child’s school participates in the Massachusetts Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program.
- Add physical activity into your board games. Add rules about doing jumping jacks or stretching before taking a turn.
- Create an obstacle course indoors or outdoors. Use household items like benches or tables to crawl under, a garden hose or jump rope to walk across the “tightrope,” or a small ball for tossing into a laundry basket or bucket. Let the kids use their imagination for more ideas!
Here comes the hard part ...
Set time limits and stick to them: no more than 2 hours of screen time a day. Keep electronics off during meal times and talk about everyone’s day instead.