How to get your family to start running

May 6, 2019

Summer is approaching, which means that our kids are going to want to spend more time with us in the sunshine 🌞

This 3-step strategy will help you plan a wonderful, active, healthy family activity and share precious bonding moments with your little one. With summer quickly approaching, now is the perfect time to start planning your summer activities as a family. The health benefits of running are hard to ignore and, at Storkcraft, we believe in the mantra: “Families that play together, grow together.”

In this blog post we will talk about how, as a company, we organized a fun “family run” for our staff and signed up for the 6.21-mile (10-kilometer) Vancouver Sun Run. As we encouraged our staff to join us for the run, we realized that some of the challenges we faced when recruiting participants might be similar to what parents could face when trying to get their children to be active.

1. Where to begin? 
When communicating with kids about a family activity (in this case a family fun run), you’ll need to remember that everything must have a “cool factor” to it. In a world filled with so many distractions (video games, mobile phones, and tablet computers) not many kids will necessarily see the appeal of going on a 2-mile run.

To get your little one interested in the idea of trying something new and challenging, you will need to generate a certain amount of “buzz” around the idea of participating in the event, and deliver the so-called “wow-factor” up front. Having “social proof” will make it easier to convince your kid that “cool people” are also going to be participating in this healthy activity! To make this a fun family run, we began generating buzz around the office by designing an exclusive, new Storkcraft running t-shirt. Receiving this cool new t-shirt made our staff really feel like a part of Vancouver’s most iconic running event, boasting over 43,000 participants.

2. Break the ice
Creating buzz generates a lot of interest and raises a lot of questions. If you are trying to get your kids interested in a family fun run, you must be strategic with how you respond to their questions. Share stories of how much friends and family enjoyed similar healthy activities. Simple, positive details will help get your kids get excited for this event!

 

3. The moment of truth
Now that your kids are prepared to face this challenge, we need to make sure it’s fun, enjoyable, and realistic. This is how we explained the challenge (Vancouver Sun Run) to our staff: We asked our staff if they could walk or run for 0.621 miles (1 kilometer). The response was positive, as that is not too long of a distance. In order to overcome this obstacle and successfully face this challenge, our staff would simply need to overcome this obstacle 10 times. Equipped with the right mindset, the Storkcraft family was ready to take on this new challenge. The Vancouver Sun Run had a significant impact on our family at Storkcraft. Some of us who though this challenge was too big were surprised by their performance at the end of the event. Overall, the experience brought our staff closer together.

Kids love it when there is an exciting, positive buzz surrounding something. This can make them curious to try it out for themselves. The precious memories you build together with these activities will last a lifetime. The health benefits of getting your kids to run (or to be active in general) will also help them in the long run. Kids who choose a healthy lifestyle at an early age have a lower risk of diseases like diabetes and obesity, and are able to handle stressful situations better than others. In summary, the Vancouver Sun Run had an overwhelmingly positive impact on our company and was truly a family fun run for us. The pre-event excitement and post-event sense of accomplishment brought our staff closer together, made us realize that, together, we can accomplish any obstacle, and that participating in a healthy outdoor activity is a great way to bond. We are certain that your family will experience similar positive results by participating in an outdoor healthy activity together.