Winter doesn’t always make it easy to stay active. So what do you do when your little people need to burn off energy?
Whether they’re bored, grumpy, overly energetic or just in need of entertainment; exercise is a great way to create fun in your household. Pick some activities from our list and enjoy more giggles and fewer tantrums in your day.
Music is a quick and easy way to lighten the mood and start everyone moving. Pick some fun tunes and encourage your kids to get dancing. Try different styles of music and dance moves, or add in games like musical statues and fancy dress and let your children’s favourite characters come to life on the dance floor.
If you have a packet of balloons in the house then you have an easy recipe for active children.
You may be keen to keep your children away from screens but don’t discount them completely. Sometimes one well chosen video can be a great way to cut through some challenging behaviour and lighten the mood with some exercise or dance.
There are great options online for Children’s Yoga, Music and Dancing and Exercise Videos designed for kids. We’re sharing just a couple but there are many more to choose from.
Every day is better with some bubbles in it. Whether you choose to use them indoors or outside, or even run a bath and make them part of some fun water play.
Popping bubbles is a fun activity for children of all stages and is great for developing hand to eye co-ordination. For a fun additional exercise, why not add in some music and see if your children can pop bubbles in time to the beat?
You might see your housework as a chore but your children can be persuaded to see it as an exciting activity. Get them involved and you might even have a little helper in future who can lighten your load.
Toy libraries often stock a range of toy versions of household items like vacuum cleaners and brooms that will give your younger children a chance to follow you as you do your jobs. Add in a feather duster and you’re sure to keep them entertained and active for a good bit of time.
Obstacle courses are a great way to encourage activity in a small space. They are also a huge amount of fun.
Consider tactile experiences for smaller children who may just enjoy crawling from surfaces of one texture to another. You can also try creating different light and colour by draping different scarves or fabrics in the areas they are exploring.
Bigger kids will enjoy building as well as completing their obstacle course so start by getting them involved in the design and planning stage. Building can be nearly as active as completing the course and if you time your kids they will always have an opportunity to go round again and try to beat their personal best.
Have you ever noticed how much easier it is to get your child to do something when they don’t even realise they are doing it? Treasure hunts and letter days (pick a letter and find all the objects that begin with it) are a great way to get your kids to cover a long distance on foot and get some great exercise. And if it’s raining you don’t even need to go outside to do it.
Everyone remembers how much fun it was to build a fort when they were little. But you probably don’t remember what great exercise it was too. Building a hut is a great indoor or outdoor activity.
If you’re working inside, encourage your little builders to draw on resources from across the house, and they will have a lot of fun carrying and dragging all sorts of things, from pillows to boxes and baskets. Just make sure you plan a reward if they tidy up at the end too.
Quiet children who don’t seem active can quickly turn into herding elephants when you increase their number. You’ll be amazed at how they can run, leap, twirl and stampede – all in the comfort of your own home. That’s probably why it’s a great idea to include our tenth tip if you’re planning on hosting a playdate at home.
If you’re looking for a great source of exercise for your little people, the outdoors is really where you want to go. Remember that while we as adults aren’t keen on getting wet, muddy or cold; kids have a completely different perspective on the outside world.
Water is for splashing, cold is just another sensation to be explored, and we won’t even try to describe how amazing mud is! Dress up warm, and if you can, keep them dry, then let them loose in the wonderful world around them and let the adventure begin.