Kids have to stay active. Usually, it’s not too difficult; it definitely seems like most kids have an endless supply of energy. As more and more kids are spending time on screens, though, it’s harder to get them to stay active. Add it being stuck at home and it’s even more difficult! These ways to keep kids fit while staying at home can help make exercise fun and easy.
Ways to keep kids fit while staying at home
These are also great activity ideas to help kids burn off energy when they’re running around the house with no direction. Channel that natural energy into something positive! You could also try these activities during the winter months or rainy season when you’re stuck inside or or to support a homeschool physical education program.
Here’s some fun ways to bring fitness for kids into your home without too much effort or equipment.
Use workout videos
There’s a reason workout videos are so popular with adults; they work! They’re easy to follow and you can usually find something that fits your interests, goals, and skill levels. Now with YouTube there’s even more exercise videos out there to explore.
Thankfully, this also applies to kids. Look for workout videos that are geared specifically to your child’s age group. There’s some out there that are full body workouts, others are indoor recess programs. Or, if your child really isn’t interested in those, you could also have them watch videos to learn their favourite dances or do yoga.
Exercise with them
If you’re all stuck at home it’s important that you stay fit too, so why not bring the kids into your fitness routine and do it as a family? Find some family workouts to do together. Or use your own skillset to help teach them how to exercise properly. For the most part, kids can do a modified version of adult workouts.
Another fun way to get the family moving together is to play active games. Whether that’s a dancing video game inside or a game of soccer in the yard, the kids won’t even realize they’re staying fit because they’re so happy to play with their parents.
Make fitness part of your routine
If kids are off school they’re probably used to a daily routine that includes physical fitness. It’s important to continue that anytime they’re at home, too. Not only does exercise help kids concentrate better but it will also help them be better behaved so it’s a win for everyone.
Have set times throughout the day where you switch gears and do something active. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a formal workout every time, but at least get everyone’s blood pumping.
Consider wearable tech
Giving fitness trackers to kids is a bit of a controversial issue, and for good reason. We don’t want kids focused on numbers too much! But, at least for some kids, it’s a really fun way to stay motivated. They make kid-specific fitness trackers that even have games and apps to help with goal setting and movement.
What’s nice about a fitness tracker when you’re stuck at home is that it gives you a reminder about how much you’re moving throughout the day. If you help your kids set goals they’ll be motivated to try and reach them which means less sitting around. Some also have reminders to take movement breaks.
Make it fun
For some reason we associate exercise with a chore. But for kids, that’s really not the case. Remember how much fun gym class was a kid? Well, that’s because we played games! Instead of always doing a formal workout, offer activities to your kids that naturally encourage fitness.
This can be anything from fitness themed video games (like Ring Fit Adventure or Just Dance) to simply buying them a skipping rope. Every kid is going to have something that gets them active and having fun.
Model good behaviour
Kids learn by example. If you’re always sitting on the couch they’re going to think that’s what they should be doing too. If you live a more active lifestyle, on the other hand, kids will naturally follow suit.
Make sure you’re not only incorporating fitness into your daily routine, you’re also letting your kids see it (at least sometimes).
If you’re able to get outdoors, do it! There’s no better way for kids to exercise than through the natural play they get in the backyard. Walking around, running, jumping, climbing, and just general play are all ways for kids to keep fit while staying at home without doing any kind of formal workout.
If possible, you could also encourage kids to take to the streets with bikes, roller skates, and scooters. Not only is it active and fun, it also builds essential skills like balance and risk assessment.
Work on developmental milestones
A lot of parents work on teaching kids important skills in the early years. These include numbers and letters (and later reading and math) and other academic focused subjects. That’s great, but there’s often a gap when it comes to physical activity learning. Remember; your child’s phys ed class does have an educational aspect to it.
Find out what’s developmentally appropriate for your child’s age and work on those skills. It might be throwing and catching a ball if they’re young, or older kids could be focusing on tougher skills like dribbling or kicking. Focus on proper form and teaching kids about their bodies.
Loosen the rules a bit
Yeah, most parents hate it when kids jump on the beds or pull the cushions off the couch to make paths. Sometimes, and especially if you’re trapped at home for long stretches, it’s OK to be soft on your household rules in the name of physical activity. Discouraging it might also discourage kids from being active in general.
If kids are playing on their own and being active, let them! Don’t stress about the mess and focus on the benefits of active play. Out of all the ways to keep kids fit while staying at home, the easiest is the one that happens without being forced at all.
Here are a few other ideas I think you will enjoy too: