4 Ways to Raise a Healthy, Happy Kid

4 Ways to Raise a Healthy, Happy Kid

One mom’s ideas for keeping kids happily occupied with fun, healthy activities every day.

By: Lorraine Allen

A busy kid is a happy kid. If you’re looking for fresh ways to help your little ones be healthy and happy, the simple solution is to keep them well occupied. What do I mean by well occupied? Here are some ideas:

1. Take them outside. Fresh air, sunshine, and being around nature helps kids focus, calm down, and learn and absorb information. Keep them entertained while you’re out with a nature scavenger hunt, or give them a specific item to search for, like a bird’s nest, unusual wildlife, or footprints. Give them a nature journal or tools to explore with, like a bucket to collect treasures or binoculars to look off in the distance. Gardening with your kids and growing plants indoors are great ways to bring nature into your home, and keep your kids happy and busy when the weather is not cooperating.

2. Let them build and make art. Kids love to build things, whether it’s with blocks, Legos, magnets, Play-Doh or other materials. Building helps kids learn about physics, math, geometry, and relationships while promoting patience and focus. Similarly, making art helps kids express themselves through fun, colorful media and helps work out emotions that are difficult to verbalize while promoting intellectual and cognitive development. Whether you have a rainy afternoon at home or a long plane ride ahead, give your kids some materials for art or building, and they will be busy and happy.

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3. Encourage imaginary play. Happy, healthy kids are kids who know how to play well with others and also know how to use their own imagination to entertain themselves. Give them the right space and a few simple tips and tools, like a story to get them started, some puppets and a play theater, a play tent, or a play kitchen, and watch their imagination and happiness grow.

4. Keep them moving. Not every kid is gifted at soccer or bike riding, but every child has the ability to enjoy being active in some way. If your little one is not drawn to one specific activity or has trouble developing certain athletic skills, help him stay active and healthy by encouraging him to try other things until he finds one he enjoys. Maybe it’s hiking, dancing, ice skating, or just running and jumping rope. Whatever the activity, it’s good for your kids, and the more they do it, the happier, healthier, and stronger they will be.

What are your favorite ways to help your kids grow up healthy and happy?

Lorraine Allen is a writer, mom, and personal chef to one spunky 5-year-old girl with severe food allergies. You can enjoy their delicious recipes and follow their amusing family cooking adventures at Feeding Lina.

Image ©iStock.com/GeorgeBurba

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