Get active with the kids
We all know that exercise is a great way to keep your family healthy, but studies have also found that ensuring kids exercise daily is essential for both their concentration and learning abilities.
Free online workouts for families
PE with Joe was created during the first lockdown whilst the schools were closed and families were staying at home. Joe Wicks launched P.E. with Joe which offers a variety of free home workouts aimed at kids but the whole family can get involved.
Get Moving with Disney have released a series of Disney workouts on YouTube which you and your children can try. These are great fun as they are themed on classic Disney films. A great way to get everyone involved and moving. Do the workout and then treat yourselves to watching the movie.
Get Kids Moving is a YouTube channel that has a huge variety of themed workouts for kids to enjoy. These include Harry Potter, Wonder Woman and Star Wars, a great way to make the kids workouts fun.
Cosmic Kids Yoga combines gentle activity and mindfulness for your children. These sessions are bright, colourful and entertaining for kids, encouraging them to join in. They can be viewed on YouTube so can be done easily in a bit of space in your home.
The Daily Mile is a campaign aimed to improve the physical, emotional and social health of children, regardless of age or personal circumstances. Whether children walk, skip or run, the goal remains the same. It’s an easy and fun way to keep fit and maintain good health. Teachers have seen a change in concentration levels, mood, behaviour and general wellbeing in kids that have incorporated this into their daily routine.
Youth Sport Trust After School Sport Clubs are led by Youth Sport Trust athlete mentors from a variety of sports. Tune in on Tuesdays and Thursdays as sessions are broadcast live for children and young people through the Youth Sport Trust’s YouTube channel.
BBC Super Movers are free, fun, curriculum-linked videos featuring famous faces that will encourage primary-aged children to get active while they learn.
Tips for keeping your kids active at home
- Take your child's lead
Staying active doesn’t have to be in the form of a class. Think about what exercise your child enjoys doing and see if there are any ways you can do it together, such as walking the dog, playing football in the garden or park, or bouncing on the trampolining.
The main aim is to do something that is fun because if you enjoy the activity together, that means you’re spending quality time with one another.
- Make it routine
Creating structure in your family’s day is a great way to start – if you try to find a time in the day where you’re all regularly free and build in an exercise session, you’re much more likely to stick to it. Whether you’re tidying away toys or washing the car, it all contributes towards your weekly exercise target.
- Remember, you're only human
Don’t put too much pressure on yourself if things don’t go to plan. We all have days when we don’t feel like exercising and need to take some 'me time', so take that into consideration and try to keep the other days of the week on track.
- Get dancing
You can either start the day with some upbeat music to get everyone up and dancing, or you can also treat yourself after lunch to combat that afternoon slump.
You can have a competition for the craziest dance move, or try your hand at breakdancing, belly dancing or even keeping a hula hoop up. The only equipment you’ll need is a good soundtrack.
- Try some ball games
If you have a garden, take your kids outside and teach them some ball games to play. You could even get them to compete against each other or beat their own previous score to make the exercise more fun.
- Minimise screen time
It's important to make sure the kids aren't just sitting on a laptop all day. Try to break up the time where you can.
- Play games
Setting fun tasks and challenges throughout the day will both keep exercise regular and also make it enjoyable for the whole family. Why not allocate an exercise to each number on a dice, then roll it at the start of each hour to determine an activity everyone has to do? One could mean ten jumping jacks, two, 20 push-ups, and so on.
You could add to the fun by keeping a scorecard, or introducing races, obstacle courses and challenges.
- Just walk
A daily dose of fresh air is the best way to support your mental health and wellbeing. Just walking outside for twenty minutes helps release the happy hormone serotonin into the bloodstream, improving both your energy levels and sleep quality.
A fun way to make your walks more exciting is to set your kids tasks like collecting leaves to make crafts, counting various items, or talking you through the seasons or weather. This will help them with their learning and keep them entertained while exercising.
- Chat to other parents
You are not alone. Chat to fellow parents going through a similar struggle and you’ll not only make yourself feel better, but you can also pick their brains about what is working well with their kids.
- Join in
Struggling to find time for your own exercise? Why not join in with the kids? Parent Polly says: "It makes it more fun for them, plus you get the benefits of having a break from working, teaching, and chores."
- Give the task to someone else
There are so many resources online, and lots of people like Joe Wicks and Marcus Rashford are there to help your kids look forward to their workouts. We've linked to some of our favourites above.