Turn Your Backyard into a Sports Oasis
Are you a family of sporty types? Do your kids play soccer, basketball, baseball—or all of the above? Delight your family and turn your backyard into a sports oasis.
Whether your kiddos play competitively at a team sport or couch potatoes who enjoy casual playtime with neighborhood friends, these additions to your backyard will be like a dream come true!
Sure, the gear might be a little pricey, but your kids will benefit from having access to sporting equipment:
- Time pulled away from the electronic screens
- Getting fresh air on a daily basis
- Social time spent with friends
- Amplified engagement in physical fitness
The Benefits of Physical Activity and Children
The children of today’s world, and American children, in particular, are getting heavier. That is not the opinion of this writer. Indeed, this information comes to you straight from a journal for pediatric medical providers, Pediatrics.
In a joint research study conducted by Wake Forest University and Duke University, scientists documented the weights of children from 1999 through 2016. During that almost 20 year span, weights in children increased.
Here are some of the alarming findings of their research:
Children aged five and under are reaching obesity faster than ever.
15 percent two- to five-year-olds are obese, and 26 percent of that age group is overweight
Despite the fact that our children are continuously growing heavier, we don’t want to damage their self-esteem by pointing this out.
Causes of the Increased Weight in Children
What are the causes of this significant weight gain in children, especially our youngest? Some commonly known causes include the following factors:
- Poor nutritional habits and the consumption of fast foods
- Sugary and salty snacks
- Too much time seated (between school and screen time)
- Additives and chemicals in the food consumed
- Lack of sleep
- Not enough physical exercise
Therefore, the solution, in most cases, is to get children away from the screen, out of the fast-food habit, and back outside playing and getting exercise. Sure, there are exceptions to that statement—a congenital concern that’s beyond the control of the parent or child.
However, in the majority of cases, parents can instill better habits. One easy way to do that is to foster a fun outdoor environment where kids can enjoy fresh air and exercise.
Whether your child is an elite athlete in the making or needs to adopt healthier habits, you can provide them the outdoor space they need. Take a look at three fun but easy ways to turn your yard into a sports oasis.
Kiddos of all ages love to play on a swing set. From pumping their legs to get the swings in motion to using their arm strength to give their friends and siblings a push to get started, swinging is a fun and easy exercise.
There is not any special expertise or skill required. This means that a swing set is fantastic for all ability levels. Adaptive swings are available for special needs children, and you can even purchase baby seats!
It’s an affordable purchase, and your children will enjoy the swing set for many years to come.
A basketball hoop is an ideal way to boost both physical activity and social interactions with other children.
Sure, your child can get aerobic exercise by dribbling and shooting hoops alone. However, once the other little ones in the neighborhood hear that familiar thunk-thunk-thunk sound of a basketball on the pavement, they will alight upon your property.
These backyard basketball games are a great place to build memories as well as muscles.
Flag Football Gear
Football—American football, not to be confused with soccer—is one of America’s favorite games. While you might not want kids tackling and wrestling about your backyard as a parent, you can provide the equipment for flag football. Participants in this sport capture the flag from an opposing player instead of knocking them to the ground.
This tackle-free sport is great for kids as they can participate without the fear of getting an injury. And it’s great for you because there’s no permanent installation needed. Just set up when the children want to play and stow it away post-game.
By turning your backyard into a sports oasis, you are enabling your children to practice at their favorite sport and interact with their friends in an active and outdoors setting. More importantly, you are instilling a love for physical activity that they can’t get in front of their smartphone screen.
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