10 Tips to Help Parents Keep Kids Active at Home
April 23, 2021
by George Chiang, guest contributor
We’ve all read the headlines - a sedentary lifestyle can be deadly. Don’t let the COVID-19 pandemic stop your kids from staying active and healthy. With a little creativity, you can have fun and let your kids sweat it out in the safety of the house..
Get your kids moving with these 10 awesome ideas.
1. Indoor Scavenger Hunt
Scavenger hunts are fun whether it’s outdoor or in. Use whatever items you can get your hands on in your home. To make it more challenging, you can add a point system or use a timer.
Here are a couple of versions that your family can try. Just adapt them to an indoor version.
2. Fitness Fun Cootie Catcher
Rock Your Homeschool’s creation is a boredom-busting activity that combines cootie catcher and dice roll to have your family working out a sweat.
This resource comes with a pattern for the cootie catcher and eight categories with six prompts per challenge card. Topics include core, stretch, dynamic, charades, balance, dance, arms, and challenge.
3. Fitness Board Game
If your kids love board games, you can use it to motivate them to get moving. LeapFrog has a ready-made printable fitness board game. Just print the game board, Fit Made Fun cards, and characters on heavy cardboard paper to help them last longer.
Even better, you can make your own fitness board game with this Twinkl template. For the yellow spots, put physical activity. If your kids land on the red spots, they can answer a mentally-stimulating questions and puzzles which you’ve made beforehand. Depending on whether their answer is right or wrong, they’ll roll the die and go forward or backward accordingly.
4. Fun Workout Videos
Make time for a fixed daily workout schedule for you and your kids to stay physically and mentally healthy during this pandemic. Here’s a short list of family-friendly YouTube channels and apps that your family can use to stay fit.
- Move Dance Learn
- Workout Hotel
- Pregnancy and Postpartum TV
- The Body Coach TV
- Cincinnati Children's
- Cosmic Kids Yoga
- Pancake Manor - Music for Kids
5. Move and Play
For kids who love playing video games, there are games that incorporate physical activity into the gameplay.
The American Heart Association created the NFL PLAY 60 which is available on both iOS and Google Play. Your children will have to walk, run, jump, dance, and catch to make their characters do the same.
Kids have plenty of games to choose from with titles like Flo Yo’s Bubble Pop, Súper Rufus Súper Soccer, Om Petalhead’s Flower Power, Zapp Von Doubler’s Space Race, and Squatchy Berger’s Rock and Roll. Depending on which game they choose, you’ll see them moving their hands, feet, and body, jump and twist, and even do yoga.
6. Fitness BINGO
If you already have bingo cards, you can assign an activity to each number and put them in a bowl. Draw from the bowl and whoever has the number has to do the activity to mark it on his bingo card. Whoever completes a line first wins.
There are also fitness bingo sets that you can buy like this one from Teachers Pay Teachers. If you want to add your own exercises and activities, you can create a bingo card on My Free Bingo Cards and just print them on heavy cardboard paper.
7. Jenga with a Twist
Add a healthy twist to one of the most popular family games, Jenga. Using a marker, write different physical activities on each block. Whenever your kid pulls a block, he or she would have to do the exercise indicated. For what to write, C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital has some suggestion
8. Mind Games with Fitness Penalty Jar
How about incorporating quick brain teasers with a fitness penalty jar? Whoever loses has to draw from the jar and do the indicated activity. If your kids prefer longer games like charades or UNO!, the penalty can be two activities.
Come up with your own puzzles and riddles and mix it up with games like.
- Connect 4 - iOS Google Play
- 4 Pics 1 Word - iOS Google Play
- Heads Up! - iOS Google Play
- Charades - iOS Google Play
9. Indoor Obstacle Course
Take your kids on an adventure right in the comforts of your home with an indoor obstacle course. Get creative with your kids and have fun coming up with ideas. You can even add mental challenges and get the clock ticking to make it more difficult.
Check out the following for plenty of ideas to add to your obstacle course:
10. OPEN’s Active Home Tools
Last but not least, you can take advantage of some great resources created by the teaching community of the Online Physical Education Network. They regularly update it with physical activities that the family can do. They also have a monthly calendar with daily active tasks that your children can participate in.
George Chiang is a certified ergonomist and senior editor at ErgonomicTrends.com. You can find him hitting the gym or the yoga studio when he’s not working hard at a café or co-working space.
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