I should also throw in my “opportunity for play” rant.
Kids under 13 or so really don’t need a “program.” All they need is the opportunity to play. Many parents just don’t provide this. They’re too busy or too lazy or just couch spuds themselves so they don’t even think about it.
Kids are programmed to “train,” to play and run and climb and throw. You almost have to make them NOT do it. But video games, TV-as-babysitter, absentee fathers, etc all conspire against this. But it’s really easy to fight back.
First thing to do is make your living room or family room into a play area. (Yeah, get rid of the glass lamps.) My living room has a kid sized punching/kicking bag, soccer balls for foot drills, a Swiss ball to roll around on, and usually a medicine ball or two. I don’t have to tell my daughter to exercise, she just starts kicking on her TKD bag, lifting up the medicine ball and playing around.
Sometimes she’ll be watching cartoons and just hop up and start “exercising.” Of course, she doesn’t know that’s what she’s doing!
So it all comes down to providing the opportunity. And while spending money on toys, sports camps, martial arts, or gymnastics lessons helps, you don’t have to. Hitting the park instead of turning on the TV in the evenings is still free.