Neighbourhoods can be full of places and spaces for fun family activities, away from those screens and in the fresh air.
Leaving the car at home and exploring by foot, pedal or push power can be a fun way to explore the neighbourhood. Travel to local parks, sports grounds, play equipment and BBQ areas, as a family. You may find safer off-road paths and shortcuts to your destinations that you would miss travelling in a car. While you’re out and about you’ll have time to engage with the kids, laugh and talk – you could even play eye-spy or create games as you go.
As children grow older, their desire to gain independence increases. Active transport from an early age equips children with the knowledge and skills they need to safely play and travel on their own.
Riding and walking with the family in tow can be daunting initially. Being prepared is the key. Know your destination, plan your route and discuss the trip with family members prior to leaving. For a starter’s guide to get the family moving see our active travel guide for families to start walking to school safely. Check with your local Council for maps, paths and programs in your area.
Younger children aren’t an excuse. Equipment such as prams, bike seats and strollers are great (and comfortable!) ways to include the whole family. Don’t forget, involving children in travel activities at an early age will help build their confidence, understanding, street safety and willingness to get out there as they become more independent.
Out and about – advocate/ get active in the community
It can be difficult to provide healthy options and support physical activity when peers and children are influenced by their surroundings. If you want to help spread the healthy lifestyle message, here are some tips to get family, friends and community on board;
Tips to get family, friends and community into a healthy lifestyle
- A little effort goes a long way!
Role modelling is effective not only for your own family, but for peers as well. Word of mouth is a powerful tool. People believe it when they see it!
- Get involved in community groups
School P&Cs, local clubs, sports committees, or even your workplace! Event catering, fundraising, and sponsorship are just some of the areas on which promoting healthy choice can have a widespread positive influence.
- Encourage healthy parties
Check out LiveLighter’s ‘healthy party planning’ section. Encourage friends to provide healthy options at their parties.
- Get involved in organised events
Support organised events by participating in days such as Walk to School, Ride to School, or Walk to Work and Ride to Work days. Check out programs and organisations in your area that advocate for better community infrastructure to support active living.