Kids need to be active for at least 60 minutes every day, for their physical and mental health. There are lots of great ways to make this part of your family routine, but sometimes that’s not the perfect option. How can you help keep kids active outside of family fun time?
Physical education has long been varied in Northwest Arkansas schools, and remote learning limits regular PE and recess opportunities even more. But many schools still offer organized sports for school age children.
Football, softball, basketball, cheer, and baseball are widely available, but Northwest Arkansas schools offer myriad other activities from bowling to wrestling. Bentonville schools have track and field, swimming, volleyball, soccer, and dance. Fayetteville also has tennis and golfing.
Elementary and secondary schools have lots of athletic programs for boys and girls, so your child’s school will be a good place to start looking for a physical fitness program.
Private lessons and classes
Northwest Arkansas has a wealth of opportunities for private lessons. Gymnastics, dance, horseback riding, and swimming may be more appealing than team sports for some kids, and can require less of a family time commitment than team sports.
There are individual trainers, dance and swim centers, athletic clubs, and community centers offering classes and lessons for different budgets. Martial arts studios and climbing gyms often have supervised opportunities for kids, too.
While joining a sports team may require a long-term commitment, kids can try out many different sports in individual lessons and classes before settling on their favorite. Choosing an activity they enjoy will help kids keep active.
Local community programs offer free or low-cost fitness opportunities for kids. Some of the options in Washington and Benton counties:
- Boys and Girls Clubs of Fayetteville
- Boys and Girls Clubs of Benton County
- Jones Center in Springdale
- Bentonville Community Center
With the pandemic, offerings and hours vary, so check with the centers to be sure you have the most current information.
Sports physicals may be required for some programs. Talk with your pediatrician to schedule a sports physical, or to ask any questions you may have about your kids’ athletics.