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Make a "Move! Jar"

For Parents continued...

Creating Activities for the Move! Jar:

Help your child think of activities that she enjoys. As you help her with her ideas for exercise, think about how to add details so that the activity becomes a moderate-intensity aerobic one. That means your child's heart should beat faster than normal, and she should breathe harder than normal.

For instance, if your child wants to put "Skip" in the jar, consider how and where she can skip long enough to get her heart rate up. Can she skip to each room of your house? Out to the mailbox? In a loop in the basement?

Encourage your child to put activities in the jar that take advantage of items you have in and around your home that will be easy for her to access on her own. Is there a jungle gym in the backyard? Do you have a basketball hoop? A hula hoop? Add activities with these items to her Move! Jar so she can remember to use them.

Make sure every activity in the jar is something your child likes to do. Kids are more likely to agree to exercise when they think it's fun and it is their idea. Join in with her! That will make it extra fun for her, and it will help your health, too.

Here are some suggestions to get you thinking about activities your child will enjoy:

  • Dance to three songs
  • Go outside, blow bubbles, and chase them
  • Have a marching parade through the house
  • Ride a tricycle, scooter, or bike
  • Jump rope
  • Play fetch with the dog

When to Use the Move! Jar:

You and your child will probably find the Move! Jar most effective and fun if you agree on a time to use it at least once a week or even every day. Here are some times you may decide to have your child use the Move! Jar:

  • Every day after school, as a way to energize before homework
  • Saturday afternoons
  • At a time your child typically wants to watch TV
  • During commercials
  • Any time your child complains, "I'm bored" or "There's nothing to do."

Think of your child's Move! Jar as an ongoing project. Routinely replace the activities in the jar with new ideas for exercise.

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