Keep them active, even at home
Once their holidays begin and children are at home, their routine gets disrupted at several levels- their eating habits, their exercise and sleep patterns, all of these change. However, once the novelty of spending time at home starts wearing off, it is important to establish some semblance of a routine that includes physical activity. As a parent you have already realized that their appetite and sleep is influenced heavily by the amount of physical activity they do in a day.
We compiled a set of easy-to-do indoor activities for kids based on recommendations from experts and parents around the globe, here they are:
- Skipping rope: This is one of the simplest, yet most effective forms of exercise for kids and grown-ups alike. You can create a set of rope exercises- individual, where each child does a fixed number of skips, as well as for groups, where the kids and grown-ups can jump rope together. It’s ideal if the rope length is adjusted as per the height of the child to avoid getting tangled up in them. This can be done by adding extra knots near the handle, which can be removed if a grown-up is using the same rope.
- Build an obstacle course: Children love a good obstacle race, the more innovative props you use for it, the better! Use cushions on the floor to jump over, a length of string at 2 feet height to crawl under, a yoga mat to somersault on, paper/cardboard cones placed at equal distance to navigate through. The important thing in this game is to make it a quest where there’s a goal at the end (like their favourite stuffed toy to be rescued!) or a treasure to win (like a box of coins).
- Balance Beam: You can create a bridge between 2 beds or sofas using stools or a plank of wood and ask kids to cross without losing their balance. Make it more difficult by asking them to balance books on their head. For younger kids, it can be a paper bridge made on the floor that they have to stay within the boundaries of. A sense of balance is very important for children to develop in their early years.
- Yoga for kids: Yoga is great not just for grown-ups but also for kids. It not only enhances their flexibility, strength and body awareness, but also helps improve their concentration. Regular yoga gives children a sense of calmness and helps them relax as well. There are some great online tutorials on yoga for kids, some even make it interesting by showing the animal poses. It is recommended that if you and your kids are novices at yoga, to do this under the guidance of a teacher so they can correct your posture as needed.
- Drills: These are slightly different from an obstacle course in that the routine is simpler but more repetitive for eg. running from one end of the room to the other, repeating the same circuit on one leg, running sideways, running backwards, on all fours etc. It requires fewer props but some additional space will be better. So if you have a passage in your home or a lobby in your apartment building, these are good locations to do drills.
Even though your child is getting enough exercise indoors, it’s advisable to make them spend at least 30 minutes in the balcony or near a sunlit window to get a daily dose of Vitamin D as this is vital for your child. It is also important to remember that when kids are playing and jumping at home, they will have mishaps and could hurt themselves. While this is a natural part of the growing up process, do take care to ensure there’s no sharp edges or glassware in their vicinity to avoid any serious damage.
A regular routine and physical activity will help your children enjoy their meals, stay well-nourished and sleep well at night, it also provides a sense of security & comfort to your child, which is invaluable!