5 Activities You Can Do with Your Kids in Quarantine to GET MOVING!
Social distancing can be tough, especially if you’re isolating with kids who are home from school and likely going a little stir crazy. The pull of streaming platforms and videogames may be strong for the younger set, but getting in regular physical activity is important, especially for children. According to the CDC, “Regular physical activity can help children and adolescents improve cardiorespiratory fitness, build strong bones and muscles, control weight, reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, and reduce the risk of developing health conditions including heart disease.”
To help you have fun while getting moving with your kids, we came up with a list of 5 unique activities you can do together that will get everyone moving. We’ve also added 5 bonus educational activities to take advantage of so you can work out your brains as well as your bodies!
1. Build an obstacle course
Did anyone else pretend that the floor was lava and stones as a kid? Why not kick things up a notch and create a fun, safe obstacle course around the house or the yard? You can use items you likely already have at home, such as pillows, chairs and cardboard boxes to create a one-of-a-kind course for the kids to race through. Not only is it a creative way to get the little ones moving, but you’ll find that building the course together can be a good way to get your own heart rate up, as well as offering a unique opportunity for together time!
2. Don’t let the balloon touch the floor
All you need for this fun game is a single blown-up balloon! The goal is simple (and pretty self-explanatory): don’t let the balloon touch the floor. It’s similar to volleyball, but without a net. By making this a challenge, it’ll get your kids more engaged and will definitely get some energy out. Better yet, it doubles as a safe version of volleyball to play inside when the weather is bad.
3. Have a dance party
This one’s simple, but sometimes the simple activities are the best! We recommend creating a Spotify playlist that mixes your kids’ favorite tunes with some of your favorites – that way everyone is engaged. The best part about a dance party is that it doesn’t have to be structured, it’s just about moving and having fun. If you’ve got a more competetive streak, you can add challenges like choreography, a judged dance-off or a “freeze dance” or “copycat” challenge.
4. Set up a scavenger hunt
There are so many different scavenger hunts you can do, but a simple one would be to give your kid(s) a list of things to find around the house. For example: something blue, something squishy, something you eat. You could also task your kid(s) with an Alphabet Scavenger Hunt and have them look for 26 items that start with each letter of the alphabet. Instead of giving them a list, you could also hide things in your living space – like Easter eggs – for your kids to look for. This will get their brains working and legs moving!
5. Host your own Olympic Games
Sadly, the 2020 Summer Olympics are postponed to next year, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the spectacle of Olympic competition in your own home! Some at-home, kid-friendly events might include an egg race, balancing a cup full of water, a water balloon toss, a hula-hoop contest, frisbee throwing contest, dance-off and more! We suggest checking out the “Office Olympics” episode of The Office for inspiration, and some extra laughs.
BONUS Educational Activities
1. Visit faraway places together – virtually
If you’ve ever wanted to visit aquariums, zoos, or museums, now’s your chance! Most are offering virtual tours, including the Louvre, the MoMA, the Smithsonian, the San Diego Zoo, the National Aquarium, The Boston Children’s Museum, and much, much more! Some are even hosting live streams on Facebook, like the Cincinnati Zoo. Turn off the lights and set up the big screen and you’ll almost feel like you’re there in person! See a list of Good Housekeeping’s top 30 virtual tours here.
2. Step up your arts & crafts game
There are so many projects you can do at home that allow children to be creative while still being educational. Some ideas for unique arts and crafts activities include making your own slime, creating your own boardgame, decorating cards for relatives or loved ones and using sidewalk chalk and tape to create geometric chalk are. For more great ideas, follow ArtBar’s blog.
3. Try out new recipes together
Cooking and baking with kids teaches them important life skills they’ll use for the rest of their lives. While it might make for a bit of a mess, it’s an excellent opportunity for bonding. There are also educational lessons hidden in recipes, like using math for different measurements and quantities of ingredients and using chemistry to understand why food changes texture when baked. Tasty put together a fun collection of cooking and baking recipes easy enough for kids…and inexperienced adults!
4. Build a Fort
Kids love building forts out of anything they can find. Like the obstacle course, you can use whatever you can find in the house – cardboard boxes, blankets, pillows, furniture are all fair game for their imagination. For some reason, everything feels much more fun inside of the fort. Reading is okay on the couch, but inside the fort? Gamechanger. Check out these epic home forts feature on Red Tricycle for inspiration.
5. Do some team gardening
If you have the space, gardening is a great activity that teaches kids about plants and nutrition and also yields food that can be used in family meals. It’s also an opportunity to get outside while staying at home. Gardening teaches kids so many lessons, including about ecosystems and photosynthesis, and encourages a love of nature and a better understanding of where our food comes from. For those lacking green thumbs, KidsGardening.org has a wealth of information, garden plans and activities.