Written By: Alena Walrath, PTA
With children finishing up the school year online, it may be easy to overlook two important parts of your child’s day: recess and gym class. According to the CDC, school-age children should get at least 60 minutes of “moderate-to-vigorous physical activity” every day. Younger children, 3-5 years old, should be “active when they play” and aim for at least 3 hours of physical activity every day. Physical activity can help to improve concentration, attention, and memory. So what do you do when you can’t go outside?
While some screen time may be necessary for schoolwork, help children make good choices, and reduce screen time when possible. Screen time becomes especially problematic when it takes the place of physical activity. Here are a few examples of online workouts specifically for children to help them get moving:
- The Just Dance YouTube channel has dance workouts set to popular songs.
- Children 3 and older can learn yoga through storytelling and imagination with Cosmic Kids Yoga.
- The Glenn Higgins fitness channel has workouts for older children based on popular action movies like Star Wars and Avengers.
There are many other ways children can stay active without a screen. Try some of these ideas:
- Jump rope
- Set up an obstacle course inside.
- Turn exercise into a game. Make a list of 12 activities and roll a pair of dice. The number you roll corresponds to the activity on the list. After you complete each activity, roll the dice again. Let your children help come up with activities and exercises for your list.
- Turn up the music and dance.
- Use a pedometer and see who can get the most steps each day.
- Hula hoop
- Let the kids help with chores like vacuuming or sweeping to get them moving. Younger children often enjoy helping.
- Play some music and every time the song changes do jumping jacks, push-ups, or sit-ups.
- Use painter’s tape or masking tape on the floor to make a maze or pretend road on the floor.
Another great way to make sure your child is getting the physical activity he or she needs is to set a good example. Many children will enjoy exercising with you, so invite them to join you when you workout and don’t forget to have fun!