5. Motivate your children by setting goals suitable for their age and level
Before heading out, the best way to motivate your children is by setting up a fun running outing which takes into account their individual levels and abilities and the distance you will be running.
Motor skills are different at every age. Don't think of your kids as little adults. Instead, change your pace, distance and the length of breaks based on the needs of each individual child. Running is an ideal sport for younger people, allowing them to do a different kind of recreational activity which helps stimulate and develop motor and sensory skills.
An example jogging outing with children:
- Start with a short run (no longer than 15 minutes).
- Then, walk for a bit and take a picnic break to replenish your energy.
- Run for a little while longer, and then take some rest breaks in which you play fun games.
- Start your return journey with a short run and have a little challenge after you finish!
The main goal is to have fun with your kids while bearing in mind their individual abilities and desires. The best thing is to do a variety of activities to keep them interested all day long and teach them to love running. These could include:
- Exploring nature by looking for and learning the names of the birds and flowers you see during your outing.
- Learning how to read maps, road signs and a compass.
- Outside games (leapfrog, ball games, etc.)
Running, jumping, and throwing should be the three main activities in your running outings with children under 12 years of age.
Another option: bring along a camera and teach the kids to use it so that they can take pictures of anything they want.