With the unfortunate events that are happening around the world leaving most of us stuck indoors, it’s so easy to fall out of routine. Having your little ones around can be wonderful but also pretty stressful. When you can’t take them out to the park or local soft play areas, this can make things even more hectic. But there are many things you can do inside the comfort of your four walls to get the family moving, keep healthy and hopefully tire the little ones out.
Exercise is important at any age for both mind and body, but it’s especially important for little developing bodies. Toddlers (aged 1-2) should be active for 180 minutes a day, pre-schoolers (aged 3-4) should be active for at least 180 minutes a day, 60 of which should be moderate to vigorous intensity. And even babies should be active (tummy time, crawling, grasping, etc.)
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It can be tough trying to stick to routines or form new habits with everything that’s happening around us, but they can help give us a sense of normalcy, keep us healthy and introduce some fun into the unusual day. Some ideas for things to do include:
Of course, you wouldn’t be expecting your child to get into the eight angle pose (leave that for the grownups) – we’re talking about family-friendly yoga like Cosmic Kids Yoga. These videos mix yoga and mindfulness with stories and characters to captivate them. Or, if you’re already into yoga yourself, you could become the teacher! Find some poses that are suitable for children, or check out Fearne Cotton’s ‘Yoga Babies’ for some cute inspo, to mix story time with exercise.
You’re probably already doing it, but if things are a little bit more disrupted at home, it can be easy to forget normal activities like baby’s daily tummy time. For a newborn, start with a couple of minutes, two or three times a day, and gradually increase this to 20-30 minutes a day as they grow. You could also try lying them on your chest for some extra bonding time.
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Yes, you read that right! And no, we don’t mean prop them up on your exercise bike. A mum from the US has figured out how to turn your lounge into a spin class! If your kid/s have a bike with stabilisers, simply put the stabilisers into a pair of trainers and let them peddle away. This mum put them in front of the TV and stuck on a spin class video for a more authentic feel. And if you’ve got your own exercise bike, you can join in too!
With so many people unable to get out to the gym, home workout videos are booming. You might have some of your own that you love, but these might not be suitable for kids. Get the whole family up and jumping about with Joe Wick’s PE lessons – he’s live streaming classes at 9am every week day (or you can watch them later on Youtube). You could also try Saskia’s Dansschool, Yuvi or some mummy and me workouts (if baby’s too young to get fully involved)
Dancing is always a great way to get moving (without even feeling like you’re exercising). Stick on some of your (or the kid’s) favourite songs and lighten the mood with a little dance party, or make it competitive with a family dance off! For a more structured form of dancing, there are plenty of videos online that mix dance, fun and fitness.
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Add in some props
You might have some things lying around the house that can be used for fun exercises and games, without the need to step out of the front door. We’re thinking things like:
- Balloons – turn your living room into a volleyball court or a mini football pitch, with a ball that won’t break your favourite ornaments! You could also just stick to the classic ‘don’t let the ball touch the ground’.
- Chalk – this may be a throwback to your younger years! Draw out a hopscotch in the garden, or have them get creative and draw out their own shapes to jump on (if you’ve got a place to do it).
- Plastic cups – throw something (like a ping pong ball or another small object) to each other and try to catch it in a cup. Simple yet effective.
- Spoons – you’ll probably want to avoid using an egg for this, but a ball or small object can create a cute egg and spoon race.
- Puzzles – normally a sedentary activity, but you can mix it up by creating a puzzle hunt. Hide puzzle pieces around the house that they’ll need to collect before they can put the puzzle together.
- Bubbles – an old favourite that can have our little ones running around for ages. If you’ve got more than one kid, try setting a timer and seeing who can pop the most.
- DIY obstacle course – get inventive and use things you’ve got around the house to create your very own obstacle course. Think hula hoops to jump through, cups on the floor to weave in between, tables to crawl under, etc.
Photo by Kirsty Lambert on Reshot
Of course, there are loads of fun things you can do indoors and we’re sure you’ve got plenty of other ideas – we’d love to hear them. Anything that can get them walking, running, jumping, climbing, pushing, pulling, etc. is great!
Now that we’re well and truly into lockdown, we hope your family are safe and well, and we hope this post can help give a bit of inspiration on how to keep active in your home.