Keep Kids Movin’ During Thanksgiving Holiday

by Jodi Gilray-Szostak, PT, DPT, c/NDT, Jodi Gilray Pediatric Therapy

Sometimes the holidays bring out less-than-ideal situations. Is Uncle Carl stressing you out again by talking politics? Maybe baking isn’t your favorite thing to do, yet you’re spending the entire day doing so.

Movement helps you get through these sticky situations by reducing your stress and making your body just feel good. For your child, you may be able to prevent things like toddler temper tantrums and concentration issues by moving more throughout the Thanksgiving holiday.

Plus, with all the food that’s around, it’s always good to defend against childhood obesity. 

Make time to move.

Write it out; don’t just think it

If the afternoons and evenings are going to be too busy during the holidays, then maybe you and your kiddo take a morning walk together.

Instead of watching TV while you wait for the oven alarm to go off, go outside and play a quick game of family football.

Pencil it in.

Stay active with the family

As a family, play sports outside, go for a walk or play a good old game of Wii tennis or bowling indoors. There’s no way to do movement wrong. Young kids often know how to get a ton of joy from movement.

Plan for small movement breaks

Remember that some movement is better than no movement at all for you and your kiddo.

Set timers to get up and stretch every once in a while. Allow your child to move around if they’ve been chatting it up at the family table for a while or even if you are traveling.

Take advantage of rest areas.

When you realize you can do what works for you and still get movement in during the day, you’ll find that you can come up with a lot of creative ways to stay active. 

Go shopping, visit attractions

Thanksgiving comes right before Black Friday and Christmas and New Year’s Eve. Take advantage of the holiday happenings in your local area to get out and move (Turkey Trot, anyone?).

Do a little shopping with your child; visit a bunch of stores even if you don’t plan to buy anything. Walking around to see what’s there can be just as fun for some families.

Getting out of the house is sometimes the best way to embrace an active lifestyle.