How to Help Children Exercise from Home

07 July, 2020
Having an active life is essential, for both adults and children. Here are some activities you can do as a family to exercise from home.
 

Due to the quarantine caused by the coronavirus, we’re spending more time than ever at home, and for many, this includes children. Children are overflowing with energy and are used to having an active lifestyle. Because of this, we need to know how to help our kids stay active and exercise from home during this time of social distancing.

Suddenly breaking our routines and finding ourselves trapped within four walls is a difficult change to confront. It’s likely that many children are staying entertained with video games, the TV, the computer or other technology where they’re certainly not moving.

In spite of these circumstances, if you want a healthy life, it’s just as important for children as is it is for adults to stay active and not fall into a sedentary lifestyle. Along these lines, the World Health Organization recommends 60 minutes of physical activity a day for children and between 150 and 300 minutes a week for adults.

To achieve this, you have to alternate each activity that you do while sitting with a physical one. The goal is to ensure that everyone is staying active, with exercise at home during social distancing. Setting up a daily routine can help with this.

Because families are finding themselves together more than ever before and every member needs to stay active, there’s a great opportunity to share moments together while exercising. Here we’re going to present some ideas that you can do as a family.

Exercise at home: ideas for the whole family

 

First up, you can make a ‘bridge’ with your body by doing a plank with your arms extended. That’s to say, keep your hands on the floor with your elbows extended while at the same time keeping your core and lower body stretched out.

It’s worth noting that during this exercise it’s important to activate your abdomen and glutes. Once the first member of the family has made their ‘bridge,” the next person has to crawl beneath them and form their own bridge beside them.

The next person has to pass beneath both ‘bridges,’ and so forth until the entire family has passed beneath. Once everyone has formed their plank, the first person who started has to crawl underneath the others, and so on. So that you don’t run out of space, it’s recommended that the bridge moves laterally towards the starting point.

On the other hand, a good option is to do the pine with three supports. That’s to say, the idea is to stay vertical supporting your head and the palms of your hands. This can be a challenge for kids and for adults!

A family exercising together.

 

Once you’ve made your three supports, it creates a stronger, more ample base than only using two supports (your hands). It’s recommended to do this on a flat surface with the help of another person to prevent falls or other injuries.

 

Exercise at home: playful alternatives

All children like to play, and that’s why the following ideas can be useful for an activity of fun and physical activity:

Stealing the handkerchief

Every participant should put a handkerchief in the back pocket (or waistband) of their pants. The objective is to steal the handkerchief out of the other players’ pack pocket without allowing anyone to steal yours. It’s possible to play as a pair or a group.

Balloon volleyball

Make two teams and mark off a court. In case there’s not enough space to make a sufficient ‘court,’ the goal will simply be to hit the balloon and keep it from falling to the ground. Another, more challenging option is to try to keep the balloon in the air without touching it, only blowing it!

The blind chicken

In addition to working out their senses, this activity will also teach your kids to move with greater confidence and agility. One participant will be the chicken and be blindfolded.

The goal of the chicken is to trap another member of the family, who they can move but without letting go of their hands. The chicken has to turn around three times before they can start the search. When the chicken touches a child, they have to guess who it is through touch. If they get it right, they switch roles with that person.

Juggling balls

In the case that you don’t have the necessary materials, first, you can do some crafting to ‘make’ the materials and then move on to the physical activity. To make the balls, you need to have balloons, rice, a water bottle, scissors, and a funnel.

 
  • First, fill the water bottle with rice with the help of the funnel.
  • Blow up the balloon and place it on the neck of the bottle.
  • Turn it over and allow the rice to fall into the balloon.
  • Take the balloon off the bottle and cut the mouthpiece off.
  • Finally, cover it with another balloon to keep rice from falling out.

Once your materials are ready, you can start with basic exercises with just one ball. For example: throwing the ball into the air and catching it with both the right and left hand; you can also throw it into the air and catch it on your back.

To make it a little more complicated, you can use two balls and try to catch them with opposite hands, or throw them and catch both balls with one hand. Once you’ve gotten the hang of this, you can add a third ball and try to make a ‘waterfall,’ which can be a big challenge both for kids and adults.

Father and son doing exercise in the living room dumbbells exercise with your family

 

Ring throws

You’ll need some small rings. In the case that you don’t have any, you can make some using poster board. For this, you’ll need to draw wide strips and cut them out. Then, glue the strips together to make several rings.

The rings have to be caught on a post. If you don’t have a post, a stool can be turned over and its legs can be used as posts. Each leg can be assigned a certain number of points, and from there, it’s a matter of adding up points.

 

Dance classes for children

Finally, you can find a channel for dance or some other family-focused activity. There are thousands of options and it can be a simple and fun way to stay active.

Exercise at home: conclusion

To conclude, it’s worth mentioning that these exercise activities for kids will help keep the family healthy and united. But that’s not all, the little ones will also learn to assume responsibilities, cooperate, and gain more confidence in themselves. Don’t hesitate to try these out!

  • World Health Organization. (2010). Recomendaciones mundiales sobre actividad física para la salud.
  • Physical activity and young people. Organización Mundial de la Salud. https://www.who.int/dietphysicalactivity/factsheet_young_people/en/