How Your Family Can Stay Active During the Coronavirus Outbreak

So we are locked down again but unlike lockdown 2.0 the schools have been closed for the majority of families.  

So whilst most schools have upped their game on their online provision, there are still the hours to fill when they would have been at after-school clubs and activities.

How do you fill these hours?  Here are some of our suggestions for non-screen related family/kids activities.

Have a round of tennis in the garden

For those families lucky enough to be blessed with a garden or outdoor space, you can certainly make full use of it, so long as you observe social distancing rules.

You may need to dodge the rain (or snow showers), but playing in the garden shouldn’t just be for the summer months.

Badminton, squash or other racket games can be enjoyed in smaller yards, and you only need to invest in a pair of rackets and the right ball to start. 

Try a yoga session and some deep breathing

Times are stressful, to put it mildly, and yoga may not be front of mind if you’ve got children bouncing off the walls. However, yoga can be great for kids, especially those who are struggling to cope with the day to day stresses of life under lockdown. Take a look at the Cosmic Kids Yoga YouTube channel for something that will appeal to younger kids, and also teach them valuable life skills like body awareness, stress management, patience and sensitivity. You might even like to join in!

Experiment with online workouts

For older children and teens, encourage fitness by suggesting online workouts. There’s something for everyone – barre style classes for the aspiring ballerina in your life, body weight and calisthenics for those who want to build muscle, aerobics classes which will boost anyone’s mood, and a whole universe of different dance classes. GoNoodle is great for younger kids and may prove a lot of fun for adults, too! Clear some space in the living room and tackle a workout class as a family – make it fun by letting the kids choose something to challenge the parents to!

Do creative at-home activities

Beyond the hour or so of outdoor exercise most of us are trying to get, there are seemingly endless hours spent cooped indoors. See if your school, council or community centre has any recommended online programmes or activities for kids that can be done during lockdown, scour parenting websites for ideas or get creative and make your own. Build a pillow fort, make an obstacle course or reinvent old indoor games like hide-n-seek. Get a skipping rope, or put on a dance competition in the living room. If in doubt – ask your kids for ideas.

Try family biking

Biking as a family can be a real bonding experience, and the roads are quieter than ever at the moment. Get some fresh air, explore some new routes through your neighbourhood and get the kids to help you pack a light snack and some water for the trip. They’ll get some much-needed exercise while doing something different with their family.

Get stuck into gardening and DIY

Of course, not all activities need to be sports or exercise related.  Use the change of year for a big clean or get that painting done you have been talking about.  

Encourage your kids to join along by helping them organise their own project, whether that’s planning a flower bed to plant in spring or painting their rooms. They’ll stay active and avoid cabin fever, and have something fun to work on to alleviate lockdown boredom.

The coronavirus pandemic has been enormously disruptive and worrying for adults – but children can experience boredom, fear, confusion and worry too, and it’s up to us as parents to make sure we’re doing what we can to support as we can. Lockdown restrictions are challenging all of us to find clever ways to take care of our mental and physical wellbeing. Though families can experience extra challenge in this area, children can also be a real blessing in these trying times. By pulling together and working as a family, you can teach them skills and attitudes that will serve them long after lockdown restrictions are lifted.

 

Parental Choice would like to thank Ella Hendrix for this article.

Ella Hendrix is a versatile freelance writer, currently covering articles on family psychology, elderly care children’s behaviour.

In her spare time, you will find her head in a book or sipping on a peppermint tea.


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