Keep Kids Moving at Home

| 3 min read

Family having a dance party in their living room.
With the recent and sudden closure of all Michigan schools, you may be worried about filling your child’s day with activities that are not only fun, but helpful for their education.
Many organizations announced that they will be offering free online classes on a wide range of topics.
GoNoodle is one of our favorites to inspire physical activity and social emotional health. It’s used as part of our Building Healthy Communities program and now you can use it at home. It’s a great way for kids and families to be active and learn together. It’s a free resource that offers movement, yoga and mindfulness videos, downloadable curricular activities and ideas for off-screen activities.
If you’ve got time to take breaks with your kids, the following ideas can help them work on cognitive skills such as following directions, fitness skills such as coordination, and social skills like cooperation, particularly if you get the whole family involved:
  1. Follow the Leader: Children follow the movements of whoever is the leader. Switch it up by following your littles’ lead.
  1. Movement Songs:Sing a song with whole-body movements such as “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes” or “Shake Your Sillies Out” (by Raffie).
  1. Jump Skip Counting:Count by twos, fives, or tens while jumping with each count.
  1. Exercise Movement Counting:Same as jump counting but using different types of exercises such as arm circles or knee bends.
  1. Pretend:Pretend to be various animals, transportation vehicles, or book characters.
  1. Dance Party:Put on some music and dance!
  1. Freeze Dance:Play music and have kids freeze when it stops.
  1. Pattern Clap:Clap your hands in different slow and quick patterns and have children copy.
  1. Scavenger Hunt: This one takes a little bit of planning but can be a fun adventure. While the kids are distracted or sleeping, hide clues around the house. Give them the first clue and they’ll be entertained for a while trying to find all the clues.
  1. Shaving Cream Creations: Line a table with cellophane or a garbage bag and put a small pile of shaving cream on it. Allow your kids to play with it and make whatever masterpieces their hearts desire.
  1. Make a Play: Have your kids be the star of the show making their very own play. You can set up their stuffed animals and attend yourself to give them a standing ovation.
  1. Play Restaurant: When it comes time for meals, tell your kids to create a menu listing their options for lunch. You can be the waiter or waitress and serve them their meal. It makes mealtime last a little longer without creating too much extra work.
For many kids, it helps to establish a routine. You can set a schedule for each day of the week so the kids know what they can expect. You can still have the same type of activities each day while avoiding the monotony. For example, 9 a.m.-10 a.m. can always be “art time” but alternate between drawing, painting, playing with play dough, etc.
What unique activity is your kids’ favorite? What activities are you incorporating at your house? Share with us in the comments.
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Photo credit: fizkes

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