IT'S THAT TIME OF YEAR—THE BUTTS-IN-THE-SEATS TIME OF YEAR. And with long school days now in full swing, kids might be finding it hard to stay active. But moving provides energy to brains as well as bodies, so encouraging some wiggliness isn't always a bad thing. Try these photos, experiments, and quizzes to keep kids moving. —Rachel Buchholz
ANIMAL ATHLETE INSPIRATION
MARTIN SCHUTT / DPA / PICTURE-ALLIANCE / NEWSCOM
Exercise is a great way to keep kids' brains active, so inspire them with a photo gallery of animal athletes. Some—like this pet rabbit in Germany—are real competitors; others (like a soccer-playing elephant) are just having fun. Whatever the reason for your child to bop around, their brains will thank them.
Whether they're unlocking a trash can or landing on a skyscraper (like the red-tailed hawk above), wild city critters move a little differently from their country cousins. Have kids take this personality quiz to see which urban wildlife best matches them.
You've heard it all before: Exercise is good for your kid's mental health. But a growing body of research is showing that the executive-function skills you need to ride a bike—coordination and information processing, for example—give your brain an extra boost. Try these tips for getting kids back in the bike saddle.
AIDAN BRUBAKER / MACAULAY LIBRARY AT THE CORNELL LAB OF ORNITHOLOGY (ML360349601)
Plenty of birds are on the move right now as they migrate to winter homes. So why not encourage kids to move after them? Fall bird-watching means more fliers to observe (above, a western tanager) and less stormy weather conditions than in spring. These bird-watching tips and activities can help your child get started.
Send children on a search for sunken slave ships on “Into the Depths,” a new podcast from National Geographic. Kids can follow along with this listening guide as Tara Roberts (above), National Geographic Society's 2022 Explorer of the Year, searches under the ocean for these important pieces of history.