Whether your child is participating in virtual or hybrid learning, many kids are doing some form of schooling from home and many extracurricular activities are on hold. With remote learning, it is easier for kids to move from the computer screen to the TV, gaming device or other sedentary activity instead of being active.
School-aged children and adolescents ages 6-17 should engage in 60 minutes or more of moderate to vigorous physical activity per day. It’s important to be intentional about encouraging kids to get active during the school day. Check out these tips for getting your kids engaged in fun physical activity at home.
Activities for Outdoor “Recess”
Plan time for outdoor recess or follow the school’s daily schedule to take advantage of break time.
- The weather is more moderate during the fall season and it’s the perfect time to get outside. Direct the kids to play fun games like:
- Hide and seek
- Jump rope or hula hoop
- Simon Says
- Red Light, Green Light
- Capture the Flag (generally requires a larger group of players)
- Shoot some hoops, kick a soccer ball or break out the tennis rackets.
- Make an obstacle course in the driveway or yard and race against the clock.
- Take a walk or ride a bike or scooter. Use this time to check in with your child and see how they are adapting to at-home learning.
- If your schedule allows, plan an adventure or a field trip. Go to a local museum, outdoor garden, nature preserve or other interesting local destinations.
Activities for Inside “Recess”
During times of unpleasant weather, use scheduled breaks to get active indoors.
For non-screen time fun, try these options.
- Pull out games like Twister, Hullabaloo, Cat in the Hat – I Can Do That, Wild Planet Hyper Dash, The Yoga Garden Game or The Floor is Lava.
- Turn on some music or the karaoke machine and have a dance party.
For physical activities involving screens, try these options.
- Engage in fun videos that get kids moving. Many kid-friendly videos are available for free on YouTube or can be downloaded as an app on your device. Some popular videos include:
- Cosmic Kids Yoga
- Kidz Bop Dance-Along Videos
- Les Mils Born to Move
- Use activity-based video games like Wii Fit or Dance Dance Revolution.
After School Exercise
Use this time to get the family together for an activity or if possible, get kids involved in an extracurricular event.
- Plan a lunch or dinner picnic at a local park.
- Take a hike or a bike ride on new trails.
- Utilize local basketball, tennis or volleyball courts.
- Involve kids in a new sport like mountain biking, rollerblading, running or swimming.
- Pair up with another family and play fun games like kickball, baseball, soccer or football.
Resources for Families to Keep Active
- AICR’s Activities for Kids
- Move More for kids from the USDA
- Getting Children & Teens Outside While Physical Distancing for COVID-19 from the American Academy of Pediatrics Healthy Children