An Evening Tradition – Our Evening Walk Routine
In our house, we are all about routine. We live by it, that’s not to say we are inflexible but we are very much driven by routine. One thing that we have included as part of this routine is an evening walk or time in the park. We have already shared with you the importance of the family dinner, but what I also want to stress is getting outside as a family.
Our kids love going out after dinner; the promise of time at the park is better incentive to eat than any dessert.
Every night once dinner is done we pack up and head out. Sometimes just with the kids, and sometimes all 7 of us: 3 kids, 2 dogs, my husband and I. It’s not always easy, but for us it’s important. We are outdoor people and we want to instill that in our kids. It’s working. Our kids love going out after dinner; the promise of time at the park is better incentive to eat than any dessert.
<9% of Canadian kids get the recommended 60 minutes a day of moderate to vigorous activity: we don’t want our kids to be part of this statistic.
For us this is special family bonding time. As cheesy as it sounds, it is a great time. We let the kids run and play while we get some grown up time to catch up on the day. Importantly, it gives the kids an extra bit of exercise in the day that they don’t get at school. <9% of Canadian kids get the recommended 60 minutes a day of moderate to vigorous activity; we don’t want our kids to be part of this statistic.
There is tons of good evidence that kids who spend more time outside are calmer, learn better and sleep better. I can say with 100% certainty that this describes our kids.
Kids need to get outside and get moving. There is tons of good evidence that kids who spend more time outside are calmer, learn better and sleep better. I can say with 100% certainty that this describes our kids. When its rainy, we do our best to play with the kids inside, but there is something about them running around and screaming that helps them burn the last bit of energy and wind down for the night. Post exercise they go down to bed without a fuss, and sleep 12-13 hours. It is a godsend. Their bodies and brains are happy.
If they just want to go for walk, fine, if they want to run around the soccer fields near the house, that’s great. Whether they play tag or make believe on the play-structure, they get to make the decisions.
The tradition of the evening walk has evolved in our house. It was easy with just one child. As the family has grown, we had to adapt to make it work, but we do. What used to be a walk in the stroller has turned into a double stroller, and baby carrier. We have done 2 single strollers and a backpack, and a double and a single stroller. Variety is the spice of life right? The key is we make it about the kids. If they just want to go for walk, fine, if they want to run around the soccer fields near the house, that’s great. Whether they play tag or make believe on the play-structure, they get to make the decisions. There are disagreements as to what they want to do, so sometimes we divide and conquer.
Sometimes it’s not possible to go for a walk; that’s when we open the back door and let the kids run around in the back. Thankfully, they enjoy that too.
It’s the routine that allows us to get outside quickly after dinner.
At the end of the day, we believe in the benefits of being outdoors and active. For us that is important. So we built a routine around it. This is where the magic really is, because the kids know what to expect so they react accordingly. It’s the routine that allows us to get outside quickly after dinner.
What important activities have you built a routine around? I’d love to hear them.
Get outside with the kids
Model healthy active living
Make it routine!
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