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If the school holidays has increased the frequency of the phrase “I’m bored” in your household then you might be looking for ways to wear out the kids. Hitting trampoline parks, ninja parks, swimming pools, climbing venues or booking them in for holiday sporting clinics are all great ways to keep them active and occupied but can also burn a hole in your pocket. We have been taking advantage of the parks and beaches in our area and doing the rounds. That has included shooting basketball hoops, playing touch football on the beach, having running races and playing tips or tag. Kids love playing tag and now Variety – the Children’s Charity have launched a campaign around the childhood game that could get the whole family moving. With a lot of their annual events on hold this year Variety has gone virtual and a new event that is sure to catch on is the Tag You’re It campaign. It involves tagging a friend on social media and issuing them a physical challenge. That could be to run, walk, ride, roll or swim 10 kilometres in a seven-day period with the aim to raise funds to help Variety support kids who are sick, disadvantaged or living with special needs while also encouraging others to be active. You can find out more at variety.org.au/tag. Setting physical challenges in everyday family life is a good way to keep both parents and kids active. It might be a whole family challenge to accomplish together or you can take turns setting weekly ones for each other. Exercise & Sports Science Australia (ESSA) have launched a free eBook, Exercise for Kids, to help encourage Australian children and families to become more active, and educate them on the many benefits of physical activity. ESSA chief executive Anita Hobson-Powell said the recommendations for optimal health benefits were that children and young people aged five to seven years should achieve the recommended balance of high levels of physical activity, low levels of sedentary behaviour and sufficient sleep each day. That includes accumulating 60 minutes or more of moderate to vigorous physical activity per day. She said exercise and physical activity were important for the physical, mental and social well-being of kids. “It’s vital that all children, including those with disabilities or living with chronic conditions, are able to engage in physical activity to stay active and benefit their health long into adulthood,” Ms Hobson-Powell said. “It’s hard to expect children to always want to pick physical activity and sport over screen-time, so as parents, we play an important role in influencing kids to have an active lifestyle. “Whether it’s incorporating movement in daily activities from a young age and ensuring it’s fun and simple, signing children up for community sports, or joining them for a backyard game of cricket or soccer, it’s our role to be involved to help get them involved.” The eBook covers a variety of topics including breaking down the physical activity guidelines for children as well as screen-time and physical activity levels. Renee Valentine is a journalist, qualified personal trainer and mother of three. [email protected]

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