Fun fall activities for kids

Keeping your kids active is important, especially because the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that one out of six children in America is obese. The Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion recommends 60 minutes of physical activity daily for children ages six and up. Here are ideas for fall activities your kids are sure to love.

1. Attend Community Activities
Your local Department of Parks and Recreation, Boys & Girls Clubs of America and YMCA will offer an abundance of free or cheap activities and events to do with kids. In addition to organized classes and clubs, your community center may have a skate park, playground, track or fitness trail or even a botanical garden. Local newspapers typically list upcoming fall activities for kids. For example, fire departments often open up their station to tour. Children get to spend time with firefighters, climb the trucks and even slide down the fireman’s pole.

2. Visit the Local Library

Aside from a library’s monthly calendar of free events, which may include readings, arts and crafts and visiting authors, consider letting kids browse the aisles or sit inside and read. Encourage your child’s interests by exploring the how-to section. If you find tips and instruction on cooking, sewing, animal care or even science experiments, you’ll have even more fun fall activities to do together.

3. Play Games

If you let them, kids will jump at the chance to play indoor games when the fall weather is cold and rainy. Suggest an indoor obstacle course, hide-and-seek, flashlight tag, building a fort, a balloon volleyball tournament or even a dance contest. When the weather is good enough to play outside, have kids organize a group of friends to meet up at the park or your house for a pickup game of soccer or kickball. If you have a basketball hoop, challenge everyone to a game of H-O-R-S-E.

4. Take a Fall Hike

There’s a lot of research on the positive effects of walking and spending time in nature. According to a study in Ecopsychology, people who took group walks in nature experienced mental and emotional well-being benefits. Make fall walks fun and interesting for kids by collecting leaves in bright colors. When you get home, show kids how to place them in heavy books to press and dry the leaves out. If you ever need an indoor project, you can iron the dried, flattened leaves between two sheets of wax paper and hang the artwork in the window.

CLICK for information on Reid Health’s programs for weight management, including our STOP program for kids.

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