9 sporting ways to entertain children after school

by Leana Kell
9 sporting ways to entertain children after school

What can we do to improve our children's health for the future? PlayM8 outlines 9 ways parents can encourage their children to engage in fun, cheap and entertaining activities after school.

Child health journal, Acta Paediatrica, recently published findings revealing that children are growing weaker as computers replace outdoor activity. The publication claims that modern life is "producing a generation of weaklings" as its research reveals a physical strength decline in 10-year olds since 1998.

The findings have led to fresh concern about the impact on children's health caused by a move away from traditional outdoor activities. Certainly, the introduction of tablets together with the accessibility of the internet is a huge contributing factor, whilst previous research has also shown children are becoming more unfit, less active and heavier than before.

So what can we do to improve our children's health for the future? Below, we outline 9 ways parents can encourage their children to engage in fun, cheap and entertaining activities after school.

1. Indoor Climbing

This is one of the activities along with climbing ropes which used to be standard practice for children, but school authorities and 'health and safety' has meant that less children are taking part. Encouraging your children to climb teaches them a variety of useful, sometimes vital  skills and can be a lot of fun at the same time, so why not try it.

2. Host a dance party

Most children love to dance, and it's also a great form of activity that doesn't cost a penny. Why not download a bunch of your children's favourite songs, then invite some of their friends over for a boogie? The kids will love it, and you probably will too.

3. Take a walk

Walking may not seem like the obvious sporting activity, but a brisk walk for 30 minutes every day is actively encouraged in order to stay fit and healthy. Choose a place you've never been to before and encourage your children to run and explore - they'll be burning off calories in no time. 

4. Create an obstacle course:

Whether it's a rainy day or glorious sunshine, there's always space for an obstacle course, so why not encourage your children to create a course under your supervision. When the course is complete, you can take turns to time them completing the course with a prize for the winner.

5. Treasure hunt

Every child loves a treasure hunt, and it's a great way to get your kids active and creative. You can create a themed treasure hunt for a special occasion or stick to something more simple, just for fun. Whatever your decide, make sure that there is plenty of opportunity for the kids to run around.

6. Play Ball

A traditional game which never gets tiring is simply throwing a ball around with your children. It's an active game that can be done indoors or out depending on the weather. If you only have a small area to play in, encourage your children to practice catching and invest in a soft ball so that nothing gets broken.

7. Croquet

This game is intended for outdoors, so if it's a rainy day, you'll need to refer to points 1 to 6 above! But, on the rare occasion the sun is out, investing in a croquet set is a smart idea. It's a game both children and adults can enjoy and play together and it also involves a level of skill which encourages your children to think outside the box - quite literally.

8. Football

Kicking a football around is a popular pass time, so why not set up a goal in the garden and get cracking. Encourage your children to play against one another, so one child is in goal and one takes turns to shoot the ball. It provides hours of fun, and most importantly, your children benefit from a good work-out.

9. Cycling

If your kids have bikes, why not plan a cycle ride for one afternoon after school? There are plenty of cycle paths in and around most cities and towns, or you can simply visit the local park or outdoor space and have a ride. Focus on making it into an adventure and your children are guaranteed to have fun.