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Canberra
Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Focus on kids’ health and education

After the holiday season, when the kids are in ‘holiday mode’ (having stayed up late a few nights for fireworks and family gatherings), it’s tough get out of bed in time for the first week of school!

Don’t stress; let’s just reset the kids’ body clock and get them back into the school year with a focus on health and education, forming great friendships and enjoying school life (and with my two, maybe a few good marks). Remember, school is fun, right?

Let’s look at some tips for the getting the kids back into good sleeping habits, and some exercise tips so they can keep healthy for the first term of school.

Bedtime routine

  • Set a bedtime and stick to it (don’t let the kids convince you on “30 minutes more”); they need a good eight hours rest for their learning and good health.
  • Read for 30 minutes before bed (this will provide some good behavioural and learning moments).
  • Drink water before bed.
  • Always get the kids to go to the toilet before they get into bed.
  • Brushing teeth is a great time to talk about health topics, such as how food works in the body, and the ‘good’ and ‘not so good’ foods.
  • At bedtime, plan the next day with the kids so they are looking forward to getting up and going.

Exercise

Most kids have plenty of energy to burn and can keep going long after we need to sit down! This is the time to start getting the kids to think about what movements they are doing and how they can get active with a fun and safe exercise routine. I get my boys to teach me an exercise, and then I do it so I can learn. It’s also great fun watching them make things up with their imaginations.

  • Teach a safe exercise and then get them to teach it back to you.
  • Encourage learning: not everything will be 100% correct, but they are learning!
  • Stay hydrated when exercising.
  • Introduce hand/eye and foot/eye coordination exercises.
  • Introduce balance exercises such as hopping, skipping and balance-walking.
  • Try moving different objects, big and small, and discuss how something small can be heavier than the big object.
  • Try a pushing movement and compare it to a pulling movement. Give tug of war or a tyre-drag a go – it’s a fun challenge for the kids to beat you at!
  • Have fun with the exercise you are doing!

Kids’ bodies are always growing. Let’s keep them healthy and active, while always learning about themselves and building self-awareness and confidence.


Editor’s note: Our rotating wellbeing and fitness columns provide advice that is general in nature. Please always refer to your preferred health professional for advice suited to your personal healthcare requirements.

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