We live in an increasingly lethargic world, where French fries and Nintendo are king and where the days of digging holes to China in the backyard and playing tag with all the kids in the neighborhood are fading. So, how do you keep those kids who understand all the latest video gaming jargon in your children’s ministry wanting to go outside and sweat a little?
- Encourage parents to be active. Kids will enjoy what their parents enjoy. Plan family outings that include hiking or kayaking down a river. Organize a running/biking races for families. Plan a Wii Fit tournament within your group.
- Remember: all video games are not evil. Don’t ban gaming and lock kids outside. Check out the Nintendo Wii as a way to stay active even while playing video games, or decide on a limit for gaming to encourage them to get outside and get active… and when they go outside to play… awaken your inner kid and play, too!
- Choose healthy alternatives in food choices. Cookies and Kool-Aid are really easy to make for the children’s ministry outings you plan, but consider substituting fruit, juices, or peanut butter and whole wheat crackers instead. These will give kids nutrients they need, rather than a simple sugar-high.
- Don’t serve broccoli as a snack. If the kids in your ministry hate something like cabbage, okra, or celery, don’t make them eat it. Instead, find foods that are good for them but that they also like.
- Set the example. When you stop to eat at a fast food restaurant on the way home from camp, be the one who gets apples with your hamburger. The kids in your ministry look up to you, and it just may become the cool thing to do because you did it first.
How are you encouraging kids to be active? Please share with us your thoughts, ideas, and events that have worked for your ministry in encouraging the kids to be active?