Last updated on June 10, 2020
The Coronavirus lockdown has made it much more difficult to keep our kids active, fit and healthy. All the things they’d usually do have been cancelled, from swimming lessons to football training, karate clubs and dance classes. So what can us parents do during lockdown to help keep our kids active?
In this article we share some great ideas and tips to help your little ones burn off all of that energy.
Why Is It Important For Kids To Exercise During Lockdown?
First of all, behaviour. At the moment, kids are not able to visit their friends’ houses, go to their weekly sports clubs or visit soft play centres. This can leave them feeling frustrated, which – as we all know – can often lead to tantrums. These outbursts of emotion are extremely normal for children during this time, but a build up of energy can make them a hundred times worse.
This is why it’s so important for them to get out, get some fresh air and engage in new, fun activities that really tire them out! As well as behaviour though, exercise is also vital to their health and overall wellbeing. Research has shown that exercise can boost childrens’ self esteem, improve their focus, strengthen their bones and muscles and create good habits and knowledge for them in the future.
What Exercise Can Kids Do During Lockdown?
There are a wide range of ways you can encourage your kids to keep fit during lockdown. Most of the time, it’s likely they won’t even realise they’re exercising if it’s introduced as a fun game or activity.
Outdoor Exercise Ideas For Kids
- Going for a walk – Going for a walk doesn’t have to be slow paced and boring. Go somewhere you’ve never been before and play games whilst walking around, such as ‘I spy’ or even tig!
- Create a scavenger hunt – Write a list of items your kids have to find whilst exploring the outdoors. This could be anything from leaves to worms, twigs to sheep! Whoever finds the most wins!
- Bike ride – Cycling is a great way of improving your kids’ confidence, muscular strength and balance. Start slow and build your way up, making sure you keep things fun and exciting for them.
- Have a kickabout – Get a football out and set up a goal in the garden or your local park. If you don’t have a real football net, improvise with rocks or sticks! If there aren’t enough members of your family to play a match, why not do a penalty shoot out or see who can do the most keepy uppies?
Play football in the garden to keep kids active during lockdown. Image by footy.com.
- Throw and catch – This one seems a little boring, but it can be really fun and engaging if you incorporate different games into it! Try things such as category throw and catch. Each time someone catches the ball they have to say a word describing something in that category. You could name different colours, names of countries or animals. Tailor it to your child’s age too. To make it harder, have rules such as “you have to say it within 5 seconds’ or ‘You’re not allowed to say one that’s already been said”.
Indoor Exercise Ideas For Kids
- Fun workouts – Since the start of lockdown, celebrities such as Joe Wicks have been doing live PE lessons on Youtube. This can be a great way to incorporate exercise into your kids daily routines, especially when the weather’s bad!
- Hula hooping – Hula hooping can provide hours of fun for the kids. Get one for yourself too and compete to see who can keep it up the longest!
- Obstacle course – Transform the living room into an obstacle course and see who can reach the end! Put a piece of string or some tape on the floor to create a tightrope balance challenge or even scatter pillows across the floor and use them as stepping stones in ‘the floor is lava’. You could even create your own game of limbo and see who can go the lowest!
We hope these ideas have given you some inspiration for keeping your kids active during lockdown. Why not get stuck in today and try out some of these options?