Making sure kids get plenty of physical exercise is crucial for a variety of reasons. Staying active helps kids build strong muscles and maintain high energy levels. Exercise keeps blood pressure levels low, decreases the risk of developing diabetes, and minimizes the chance of obesity as time goes on. Here are four ways to encourage lots of physical activity among your in-home daycare center kids:
Invest in Indoor Playground Equipment
An effective way to make sure that the kids you watch over throughout the day stay active and get the exercise they need is to invest in a couple pieces of indoor playground equipment. This will allow them to move their bodies as they would when playing outside, which can come in handy on rainy and stormy days or during evening hours when it's dark outside.
You can hang an indoor swing from the rafters in the corner of the main room of your daycare center and put a small plastic slide in a side room where the sit-and-spins, pit ball, and other engaging activities are located.
You can even create a small rock wall by mounting large plastic climbing rocks on the wall in the living room and putting a thick mat for protection underneath it. A basketball hoop hung over a door frame can provide hours of active fun for the kids too — just make sure that the hoop is compatible with foam basketballs to ensure that nobody gets hurt during game play.
Keep a Canopy on Hand for Protective Outdoor Play
Make sure that the kids have a chance to play outside for awhile, even when the weather isn't great, by keeping a canopy handy. Invest in a pop-up canopy that can be erected in a matter of a minute or two, and keep it by the general play area outside. If possible, make sure that the canopy will cover your playground equipment. When it starts to rain outside, you can simply open the canopy up to keep everyone dry so that playtime doesn't have to get cut short.
Ask the Parents to Get Involved
It's important to get the parents of your daycare kids involved in the various activities you plan throughout the month. This will help keep the children excited about each activity they'll participate in and help their parents keep them active at home too. When planning a soccer or Frisbee event, for example, ask the parents to practice with their kids at home and to show up for the event to cheer everyone on.
Ask the parents to offer activity suggestions and get them to volunteer as coaches or scorekeepers when they are needed. It's also important to make sure that the parents send their kids to daycare with the proper attire to accommodate physical play throughout the day. Shorts or jeans, tennis shoes, and t-shirts should be the encouraged clothing choices.
Decorate With Custom Wall Decals
By decorating your in-home daycare center with custom wall decals, you can create an environment that constantly reminds the kids how important and fun it is to stay physically active. There are many design options to consider implementing such as the following:
Feature cartoon characters on the walls, each doing something fun like riding a bike, jumping rope, or swinging.
Come up with a few sayings such as "running is fun and will give you cool muscles!" to put on the walls throughout the daycare center.
Turn items like soccer balls and running shoes into characters that depict the benefits of getting regular exercise.
Look for custom wall decals that are made of vinyl so they hold up well to wear and tear in the coming years. Some decals are covered with materials that provide a 3D effect your daycare kids may enjoy. To learn more about custom wall decals, contact companies like Wall Written.