Easy At-Home Exercises to do with your Kids

easy-at-home-exercises-to-do-with-your-kids

Cold weather is about to strike with a vengeance for many areas of the country. This means more time spent inside without much access to the great outdoors. Parents of school-age kids know that cold, rainy and snowy or icy weather brings days of cabin fever and kids who are climbing the walls.

While playing out in the snow helps kids stay active and burn off pent up energy, not all snow days are conducive to outside fun. Sometimes the cold is just too extreme or the weather is too wet. On the days that don’t resemble a perfect Norman Rockwell winter-scape, parents need fun ways to keep kids active and happy indoors.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, kids and adolescents need up to one hour of physical activity each day. While an hour might seem like a long time, breaking activities up into 30-minute or 15-minute segments throughout the day helps that recommendation seem a lot less intimidating. Today’s kids love their screen time, so scheduling activity breaks gets them off the couch and moving their bodies. Even little bookworms need to get their daily dose activity and give their eyes a break from small print.

Not all kids like the same activities, and some exercises and physical activities are easier for older kids as with more fine-tuned motor coordination. However, there are exercises and activities perfect for every age and ability level. When rainy, snowy and blustery weather keeps kids indoors, try these age-appropriate indoor activities:

Preschool

Indoor ‘Simon Says.’ Clear a space in the hearth room or living area and play a fun indoor game of ‘Simon Says.’ Create silly commands that allow youngsters to move their body and practice good motor skills. ‘Simon Says’ touch your toes, run in place or stand on one foot.

Red light, green light. Play this game in an area of the house with lots of free space…like the basement. Choose different moves for players to use when the light turns green. For one round, have kids jump on one foot or somersault. Take this time to teach kids different easy gymnastic moves like how to do a somersault. Even if they don’t master it, they will still have fun.

Dance party. Everyone loves to dance. Turn on some fun sing-along videos and have a dance-off. Feeling super daring? Add some karaoke into the dance routine.

Grade School

Hula hoop competitions. Kids in grade school have a bit more command over gross motor skills. Find a roomy area in the house and grab some hula hoops. Turn on some music and see who can keep the hoop rotating the longest. Practice ‘hooping’ on different areas of the body, like arms and legs.

Fitness-fueled video games. If the kids absolutely cannot be unglued from video games, then embrace the game console! Break out the Wii and challenge kids to a game of tennis, bowling or a virtual dance-off. Wii burns off energy…and calories: a 60-pound child playing Wii Tennis for 15 minutes will burn almost 30 calories. Combining the love of video games with fitness is an easy win-win.

Jump rope cardio. Using a jump rope is fantastic cardio—and it’s a ton of fun! Turn on some music and jump rope with the kids. If there’s space, use longer ropes to teach them how to jump double-dutch. Not only is jumping great for the heart, learning new jump rope techniques also helps to improve motor skills.

Middle School

Yoga. Middle school-age kids have much more finesse than their younger peers. Kids at this age can learn more involved workout activities, and yoga offers a unique way to help them improve flexibility and strength. New yogis should learn easy yoga positions before moving on to anything difficult.

Of course, middle school kids also will embrace anything screen-related. So Wii fitness games also play perfectly for this age group as well. Older kids can be a bit more finicky about fitness at home, although many middle schoolers get much of their fitness through team sports.

As the weather turns cooler and the lighter hours lessen, take the time spent indoors as an opportunity to keep kids moving and active. Schedule activity breaks to rest little eyes from books and screens and to get their bodies moving. Burn off the bottomless kid energy by bringing the activity and the fun indoors.

Cassie Brewer

Cassie Brewer

She is a healthy lifestyle fan and wellness journalist based in Southern California who loves teaching people about beauty and how to radiate from the inside out.
Cassie Brewer

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