Keeping children active during the Holidays

I have heard from parents consistently that their children are becoming lazy as they grow up. The frustration and confusion as to where this lazy generation of kids has come from continues to baffle the majority of us adults.

The whining of children refusing to do work because it is too tedious, declining to go outdoors because it is too cold- or even shying away from some sports because it is too hard has left very few options for our kids, especially during a long break such as the December holidays. With two weeks at home, parents are scrambling with last minute plans of how to keep kids busy and out of the fridge, or loitering around the mall with little or no money.

There is an old proverb that says “bend the tree while it is young”, meaning parents can encourage their children to stay active so that they continue to be hard working and energetic as they grow. This can be accomplished by signing your children up for a sports team, enlisting them in community centre camps and programs, encouraging them do a free writing class at a local tutoring store, a spelling bee or challenge them to do swimming lessons, chess, or learn another language. Music and the arts are also wonderful hobbies that help children develop leadership and public presentation skills.

Keeping kids busy is a sure way to help them stay active and involved in their community. Even if parents are worried about children staying safe, keeping them in the house may not necessary squash that fear. Keeping kids inside may do more harm than good in the long run when your children are trying to get jobs but have very little skills to offer. Instead, get to know the children that your children are friends with: plan play dates and invite kids and their parents out for playtime. If your child is older, encourage them to invite their friends to do homework together or volunteer together at a local establishment. As long as responsible adults supervise children, there is less idle time for carelessness.

Some wonderful activities in the Downsview area include free skating at Grandravine Community Centre on Monday, Saturday and Sunday evenings. The Yorkwoods Library also has shows for kids over the holidays. Parents can visit the Toronto4kids website to see what is happening around Toronto for children.

Overall, it boils down to encouraging your children to try new things and being interested in the things they do, so that everyone has a Happy Holiday!


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