Families are spending more time at home than ever, which can lead to more time lazing on the lounge or sitting at a desk. The World Health Organisation recommends kids aged 5–17 should be doing at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity daily. Here are 10 quick tips to get them moving!
1. New Family Routine
You could start a new family routine of all getting out of house in the afternoon to walk the dog or ride your bikes around your local area. The fresh air, exercise and change of scenery will be good for everyone’s mood and mindset. Just be mindful to abide by the most recent government restrictions.
2. Play a family game
If your kids are apart of a sports team and are missing their mates and their favourite sports, families could try playing a family game of soccer, shooting some hoops together or even throwing a frisbee.
3. Involve them in gardening
Kids generally love getting outdoors and getting messy, so involve them in the gardening. Collect veggies for dinner, water the pot plants, tidy up the garden beds, plant herbs or tend to worm farms.
4. Water play
This is fun way to move and cool down in our tropical climate. Jump in the pool, turn on the sprinklers (check your local council’s website for up-to-date water restrictions), splash under the hose or chase each other with water pistols.
5. Incorporate technology into their activity
Understanding your child’s temperament and interests will help determine what kind of physical activity they would be comfortable doing. If your child loves TV or computer games, you could incorporate technology into their activity by purchasing interactive video games or YouTube videos that require them to move.
6. Go to the gym
If you used to go to the gym to workout, try doing it at home and getting the kids involved. They’ll love mimicking you or adding extra weight to your workout. Older kids may want to train with you or you can encourage them to get active with their friends in a virtual workout. There are plenty of local gyms and fitness centres offering online classes and workouts, too.
7. Step away from the devices or desk
Remind yourself and the kids to step away from the devices or worksheets and move by setting a timer for every hour. No matter what the activity, when the timer goes off, get up, jump up and down, run around the backyard or do a little dance.
8. Obstacle courses
While we’re spending more time in our homes, it’s a great time to get creative and set up obstacle courses, play a game of charades or hide and seek. You could even create a chalk obstacle course on the footpath out the front so all neighbourhood kids to enjoy as they walk by.
9. Just dance!
It can feel liberating to dance like no one is watching, so turn on the tunes and have a dance party at home to burn off some energy. High school kids may be less inclined to join in, but younger kids will love being silly with their parents!
10. Pick up a skipping rope
Pick up a skipping rope and get the family skipping. Have skipping competitions to see who can last the longest. Or get a long rope, tie one end to a chair while you swing the other side and let the kids practise jumping in and out.
Stephanie is a Digital Media Officer at Cairns Catholic Education