Quarantine means that we don’t have our usual opportunities for physical activity. Parents may be used to going to the gym or yoga studio. Children are used to running with friends at recess, going to PE class, and participating in sports. During this time of physical distancing, it’s important to re-evaluate exercise routines as a family and make sure that everyone is getting their needs for physical activity met.
Kids of all ages—parents too!—can enjoy some good dance party time. Dance is a great way to get the heart rate up and the blood pumping. It’s also a wonderful stress relief, which is something that we are all needing these days.
– Check out The Wellbeing Partners’list of Favorite Dances. These are great for preschool and elementary-aged kids. All can be found on YouTube, but for more movement and better relational time, turn the screen off and use the audio only. The songs will tell you what to do!
– GoNoodle is another great place to find active songs. Create a family account to track your movement and help your monster grow strong! Again, once you learn the moves, turn the screen off and see who can remember the dance without the screens!
– Pull out your old favorite songs. Your kids will love to hear the songs that get you dancing. Drag out those old CDs, get moving, and be silly! Add fun props for dancing like old scarves, ribbons, or stuffed animals to keep things interesting.
Set times during your work and school day for some play time for all. Your brain and body need the break as much as your kids do. Rather than telling them to “go play,” get in on the fun yourself and make it a time to be active as a family. This will help keep your kids engaged and allow everyone to get some exercise.
– Try some old playground games. Remember those old playground games you loved as a child? They’re still fun and easy! Dust off your Duck Duck Goose skills and have fun!
– Enjoy classic sports. Keep things simple by playing some classic sports. Your elementary-aged children have probably been learning the rules to many of your favorite games in PE class. Let them be the teacher and set the rules. Adapt things as needed to fit the number of players you’ve got at home. Play the same game a few days in a row and keep a running score.
– Build an obstacle course. Indoors or outdoors, obstacle courses are a great way to get everyone moving. Take turns creating different courses for each other, and time each other to see who can get through fastest. Add variety by doing the courses with your eyes closed, with your hands tied behind your back, or only on your hands and knees.
Involve your kids in your own exercise routines, keeping things short and fun.
– Get moving in the neighborhood. Go for a run or walk or change it up with bikes or scooters. Dust off your old rollerblades if you have them! Also remember that you don’t have to walk in your own neighborhood. A change of scenery is good for everyone. No, you can’t drive around to find a good park during social distancing, but you can drive to walk in an unfamiliar neighborhood!
– Check out some online workout classes for adults. Many programs are making their workout videos free right now. Invite your kids to do them with you! Even if they aren’t at your child’s ability level, your child will enjoy the time together—just encourage them to follow along as best as they can, even if they can’t keep up with all of the moves.
Physical activity can be everyday tasks, too. Things like washing the car, cleaning the house, and gardening can also provide good opportunities for movement. Find more tips to help get your family active at GoNebraskaKids.org.