It can be difficult to think of fun ways to keep your kids active at the best of times, but when it’s cold and raining or you need to get work done, devising fun activities can be just another stressor. However, given the importance of kids staying active, we’ve compiled a list of fun and easy ways that can help you to incorporate more active time into your kids' daily routines.
One easy way you can fit in active time is to take active breaks. These can be anything from 10 to 30 minutes – whatever fits your schedule best.
Going for walks can be a great way to get in some active time, and it also gets you out in the real world and away from your work for a bit. Another way to be active and stay safe can be going on a short bike ride around your local area.
If you have a toddler, a great way to keep them active and engaged is to practise catching and throwing, or kicking a ball around in the garden. If you only have a small outside area or only an indoor space, rolled-up socks are a great alternative. Another great alternative is to do yoga with your kids, which helps you stay active as well as keep them occupied with fun poses. There are lots of free kids’ yoga classes on YouTube, and we are currently hosting an IGTV series dedicated to Toddler Yoga! If they’re feeling particularly active, PE with Joe on YouTube is an incredibly popular way to get moving.
Indoor games that require some active time are really handy. You could make up some silly walks or runs with your kids, play “guess the animal”, or get them to mime out their favourite TV shows or books.
Chalk can be a lifesaver, as it can be a great tool to get your kids to be creative and play with colours, as well as an easy way to set up games in the backyard or on the footpath. You and your kids can set up a chalk obstacle course whereby they have to jump into the gaps and gather things around the garden.
If your children are a bit older, you could also create a fun kid’s workout regime to do together. This can incorporate things such as jumping like a bunny around the living room, frog-leaping over each other, or star jumps, all aided by some fun music that you’ve both picked out together.
DIY toddler gyms
It can be really easy to create a kid’s gym in the house or garden for them to play with throughout the day. Some great pieces of equipment that you could use in your toddler gym include: a mini slide; pop-up tent and tunnel; and blow-up plastic pools with sand and shovels or plastic balls. The blow-up pool can be used as a sandpit or a ball pit, with the slide sitting over the top for your kids to slide down and into. The pop-up tent and tunnel are a great way to create a mini obstacle course in your living room. You can even take advantage of your kids’ imagination! A blow-up pool can be a lava pit, a tent can be a cave, and the garden can be a mysterious jungle with lots of exciting creatures.
The main thing is to set them up in an area where the kids can jump around without worrying about damaging anything or hurting themselves.
Mindfulness for kids
Another way to help your kids expend their excess energy is to introduce them to mindfulness, a technique where people focus on the present moment and forget about other distractions.
It may take your kids a bit longer to learn how to sit still and do nothing, but you can practice with them and there are some great calm breathing techniques and mindfulness activities here, as well as great YouTube channels like Cosmic Kids Yoga and Headspace.
For more tips on ways to connect with your little ones through play click here.