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Are you looking for ways to get kids moving more during the summer months? Just like adults, kids sometimes need additional motivation to participate in more movement activities during the hot summer months.

Adults may be motivated to move more because they want to fit into a new outfit for a special event they are attending, stay injury-free or take advantage of an incentive at their local fitness center. Many adults may enjoy the personal feeling of accomplishment after they participate in a movement activity.

Just like kids, adults have a variety of reasons why they participate in movement activities. Kids may be motivated to move more because their friends are participating in a fun movement game, are on a sports team, or enjoy participating in an activity such as swimming.

It’s important to note, what is motivating to one kid may not be motivating to another. Similarly, one adult may be motivated by working out alone in a fitness center, whereas another adult would rather be rock climbing with friends and family. One adult may be motivated by the enjoyment of moving, whereas the other adult might be motivated by being around friends.

Adults and kids are both motivated for a variety of different reasons and continue participating in movement activities for many different reasons. One thing adults and kids have in common is they are both motivated to start moving and are reinforced to continue to move in the future, even if they are motivated and reinforced by different things.

If you are a coach, instructor, camp teacher, or parent looking to increase a kid’s movement during the summer months, consider developing a personalized movement program that is both motivating and reinforcing.

Creating a fun summer movement challenge is one way to motivate kids to keep moving. It must be motivating and reinforcing to the individual, therefore, selecting movement activities the child enjoys is a huge part of a successful program.

You can observe the child and see what movement activities the child participates in or equipment they use during the week. It is extremely important to notice what is reinforcing to your child. You can collect information by observing what is reinforcing to the child, such as what TV or video game characters they watch and talk about, toys they play with, activities they gravitate to, or things they talk about or play with.

Remember, developing your summer movement program should be fun, motivating and reinforcing for the individual to be successful.

Holly Metzger-Brown

Holly Metzger-Brown, M.Ed., CSA, GC-ABA, BCBA, LBS is the Learn & Play Director at the York Jewish Community Center. She graduated from Lycoming College, where she played varsity tennis and basketball. She has a master’s degree in teacher leadership and education. Holly is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst, certified POINTE PROGRAM consultant, and certified tennis instructor. She has been published in several books, journals and magazines, including Onsite Fitness, Netplay, Wacky Ways to Succeed with ADHD, Strategies, TennisPro, Yorkids and Community Rec. She has been locally and nationally recognized for her youth fitness and sports programs.

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