With schools closed and many parks, playgrounds and spring sports shut down due to the pandemic, it can be a challenge to keep your kids active. These impromptu indoor “workouts” not only get children to build muscle and be active, but also allow them to burn off the excess energy they may have from being cooped up in the house. This leads to calmer kids, which means less frazzled parents!
Red Light, Green Light: Have your children line up about 10-20 feet behind you. Face in the opposite direction so you’re unable to see what they’re doing. When you’re ready to start, say “green light.” At this time your children will starting walking toward you. Next, say “red light” and turn around to see if you catch anyone moving. If one of your child moves they go back to the starting point. The first child to reach you becomes the next person to be “it.”
Simon Says: This fun game can get silly in a hurry. Take turns assuming the role of “Simon.” As Simon, ask your kids to do activities by starting with the phrase, “Simon says do…” For example, Simon says do 10 jumping jacks. Ask them to do several activities in this manner, then trick them by asking them to do an activity without saying Simon says. Whoever does the move is the next person to be Simon.
Catch-and-Tap-a-Balloon Race: After blowing up a few balloons and releasing them into the air, ask children to gently tap them in the air so they don’t touch the ground. Make it a competition of how long they can keep the balloons airborne. Just remember not to leave young children unattended with balloons, since popped balloons could pose a choking hazard.
Freeze Dance: Dancing is a fun, creative way for children to burn some calories. Have one child be the DJ by putting on some great dance music, and instruct the rest of the kids to dance up a storm. When the DJ pauses the music and says “freeze,” the dancers stop and only resume dancing when the music goes back on. So that every child has an opportunity to dance and to rest, have them take turns on being dancers and being the DJ.
Tick, Tock, Beat the Clock competition: Make a list of activities that can be done in place, such as running in place, hopping on one leg, doing sit-ups or doing jumping jacks. Using a timer or stopwatch, choose one of those activities with different intervals (easiest 2 minutes, hardest 5 minutes) and see how many moves they can make within the time sequence. The child who can do the most within that time limit is the winner. Remember to change up the order of the exercise activity to make the game more interesting and challenging.
Online Resources to Keep Them Moving
GoNoodle: Movement and mindfulness videos created by child development experts
Bee You Kids Yoga Studio: This kid-oriented studio is offering free video lessons from their Facebook page
Moovlee: YouTube channel featuring a variety of videos to keep kids moving, plus videos to help them calm down and meditate
KIDZBOP: Features dance videos with catchy, popular songs sung by children
LesMills Born to Move: Free video workouts designed especially for kids
We hope these activities are fun for you and your children. If you’re looking for additional resources to keep your children busy at home, click here!