No school + no friends + no sport = kids bursting at the seams with energy. So what can you do to keep them busy? Hopefully, these ideas will help!
COVID-19 has completely changed the way our children learn, interact and stay active. Most children have adjusted quickly to remote online learning in the home environment, but an important aspect that may be getting missed is physical activity, along with all the social interaction that comes with it.
Most of us don’t have an oval for a back yard, so kids have real problems releasing all the energy they have stored up. Not only can this pent-up energy lead to a decrease in productivity for your child during their school day, but it can also be disruptive for siblings and your efforts to work from home.
To make sure children are staying active during and after school, we have put together a list of exciting activities to maintain your child’s health and wellbeing, as well as your own. These activities can contribute to the recommended 60 minutes of fitness that growing kids need every day, while perfectly rounding out a well-balanced learning timetable.
We’ve also made it easy for parents by splitting activities up by school level, although a teddy bear walk is fun at any age!
Activities for Pre-Primary and Primary School Students
Plan out a treasure hunt around the house! This one takes a bit of preparation, but it’s a great way to incorporate physical and learning activities at the same time.
You can create fun tasks and clues that will lead them toward their final prize. Here are some ideas to get you started.
- Crab crawl from the television to the couch for your next clue
- Write the alphabet on the back of the treasure map
- Get a code for a lock by solving maths problems
- Run to the back fence and look for your clue near the lavender bush
We recommend doing the treasure hunt just before afternoon tea. Not only will the snack be a great reward for completing the treasure hunt, they’re sure to be hungry too!
Teddy Bear Walk
One of the positives to come out of COVID-19 is our growing sense of community, which has led to initiatives such as the teddy bear walks. Homes across the world have put teddy bears up in their windows for kids to spot as they walk around their neighbourhoods, and Perth is no exception.
A teddy bear walk is a great chance to get outside and explore your local area. Check out the South Perth bear hunt map and take your young Wesleyans out for a teddy bear adventure!
There’s nothing more timeless than playing a game of hopscotch. Let your kids create their own hopscotch grid on the driveway using chalk and then let the fun begin! If it’s a rainy day, you can create a hopscotch grid using coloured tape in the garage or on wooden floors.
Put on your best soundtrack and play a game of musical statues! Let your kids boogie away, but when you stop the track, everyone has to freeze. If you or your child(ren) move, then you have to do a challenge like jumping jacks or push ups.
This is a fun one for pre-primary children. Blow up a balloon and simply hit it back and forth, making sure it doesn’t touch the ground. Raise the stakes by counting how many times you hit it out loud or take a step back each time it passes between you.
There’s never been a better time to get your children interested in activities around the house. Get your younger kids out in the garden and get their hands dirty. You can use it as a great learning opportunity built around caring for the environment.
Start with easy-to-grow veggies and herbs, and make sure you have all the right equipment, including gardening gloves… or you’ll end up with dirty handprints all over the house!
Set up a frisbee golf course in your backyard (or in the house) using laundry baskets and a frisbee. Throw the frisbee and try to have it land in the target. Can you make each shot in Par 3 or less?
Sworkit for Kids
Sworkit is a fitness app that offers a range of workouts for children. Its easy-to-follow workouts are focussed on improving strength, agility and flexibility. You can choose to use it for a set amount of time (they start at 15 minutes and go up from there) or you can customise it. The best news is that the app and its kids’ fitness activities are free to download too.
Activities for Middle and Senior School Students
Obstacle/Ninja Warrior Course
Let the competition begin by creating a physical obstacle course in your backyard. This one may take a bit of time to build, but once completed it will be a fun activity for the whole family. It could also be a perfect way to quickly burn some energy in between classes. Need some inspiration to build your course? Check out this awesome board on Pinterest
There’s never been a better time to teach your kids the importance of hard work with yard work. Not only is it a chance for them to get outside and get active (you can burn up to 350 calories while mowing an average-size lawn), it will also give you a chance to take a well-deserved break. You can always sweeten the deal with a reward like video game time, sweet treats, etc.
Take a regular Jenga set and write physical activities on the blocks. From there, have your child(ren) compete in a game of Jenga with you. Complete the physical challenges on every block before the next person can go, and whoever knocks the tower over has to do 20 push ups!
Let your children get their dance on… silently! Set up a silent disco at your home by grabbing some Bluetooth headphones each, firing up a playlist and dancing away together without disturbing anyone who’s still working. You can even spend some time creating fun playlists together. Perhaps get friends involved by creating a collaborative playlist on Spotify, which will allow your kids to stay uniquely connected with their mates. Then turn on the tunes and let them dance away. It’s a great way to burn some energy and boost those endorphins.
Sport Training Drills
Many kids will be missing out on sports practice in the coming months. You can easily find common drills for your child’s sports online (a quick Google search does the trick). Try to set up a routine for drills so they can practice as they usually would during a normal school week.
Wesley Fitness Videos
Work up a sweat with Wesley College. The physical education department at Welsey College in Perth has created daily fitness videos that are specifically designed for students! They’re free to watch and can be accessed through the Wesley Facebook page.
Keep your children connected, motivated and active with in-app fitness challenges. Free apps like Strava offer fitness activities that enable you to track your own progress, while also following your friends. Your children can keep in touch with their mates and work together, even though they may be far away from each other.
Pomodoro Fitness breaks
The Pomodoro method is a productivity style where one focusses on a task or assignment for 25 minutes, followed by a five-minute break. It’s an extremely popular work style for millions of people around the world and perfect for those who often struggle to focus, making it a great option for students.
Set up your Pomodoro timer (you can download an app here), and after every 25-minute focus session, pick a fitness activity to do with your kids. It could be 10 squats or 20 jumping jacks. Just something to get the blood pumping!
Share Your Ideas
These activities should help to burn energy and get hearts racing. Do you have any other great ideas for kid’s activities? We’d love to hear from you. Please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org for us to share with other parents.
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