Easing back into a school routine is often easier said than done.
Parents (and kids) often find themselves being thrown, blindfolded, and
unprepared into early, rushed mornings. Finding that morning routine can
be tough and then finding the afternoon routine, can be pretty tricky.
Most kids start out the year coming home tired and ready for a snack and
a nap; however, once they fall into the schedule, afternoons are
boisterous, and energy filled.
Kids should get 60 minutes of activity in a day. Check out
health.gov/moveyourway/get-kids-active to help increase active minutes
in a day. This tool helps you to look at the morning, calculate their
recess time at school, and where you can add in time in the evening. One
of the most common barriers to outdoor fun is screen time. Gone are the
days where we leave our backpacks at the door and rush outside to ride
bikes with friends. This has been replaced by hyper-focusing on TikTok
videos and Minecraft. It is important to limit these activities, and
don’t be surprised when you start to hear “I’m bored”. Most kids aren’t
sure what to do when given time to “play”. It could be helpful to create
some options or set ‘activity playing time limits’ to access screen
time- 30 minutes of bike riding or trampoline time for 20 minutes of
Keeping kids active after school is important for their health and
focus in school. Being seated at a desk with minimal break time is close
to torture for younger kids. Homework may be challenging and many kids
exhibit maladaptive behaviors when they cannot release the energy that
they have built up during the day. While homework is important, studies
show that allowing access to play, prior to homework, shows improved
results in focus and motivation. According to kidshealth.org, when kids
are active, their bodies can do the things they want and need them to
do. Why? Because regular exercise provides these benefits: strong
muscles and bones, healthy weight, decreased risk of developing type 2
diabetes, better sleep and a better outlook on life.
While not every child is a ‘star athlete’, there are plenty of
activities to encourage, such as, walking the dog, cleaning up in the
yard, jumping on a trampoline, bike riding, and even finding kid-based
YouTube video workouts (their favorite). Learn your child’s fitness
personality and encourage them to create and build a well-rounded
healthy lifestyle at a young age.
The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture