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How to Let Kids Be Kids in COVID Times

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In this whirlwind of a year, one thing hasn’t changed: kids still need to be kids, enjoying recreational physical activity despite the challenges of online learning.  Screens seem to dictate more of our lives, but encouraging your child to put the screen down and skip, run, jump, and play has many benefits.  As always, we encourage supervised recreational physical activity to ensure your child’s safety!

The benefits of physical activity in youth include improving mental well-being and function, which can significantly and positively impact their learning, memory, and attention.  Not to mention the physical benefits such as reducing the risk for obesity, sleep disorders, metabolic disorders, and other health complications resulting from inactivity. 

young boy and mom climbing a tree

Don’t fret, though! It can be easy to get your kids motivated to move; here are some ideas to get you started!

  • If you already have a home workout routine, encourage them to participate! Leading by example can be a great way to reinforce the positive impacts of exercise.
  • Make time in the evenings to go outside and play with your child.  Anything from hula-hooping, swinging, running at the park, playing catch, or even kicking a ball is a great way to initiate physical activity.
  • Take a family walk at a convenient time to incorporate everyone.
  • Going to your local Zoo can be a great way to get your daily steps and have a fun and interactive learning experience.

Stay Motivated To Move

At this point, you might be exasperated and not sure of how you can incorporate one more thing into your busy day. But it doesn’t have to be one more thing!  Combining learning activities with physical activity has been shown to improve retention of the learning activity.  Here are some ideas to get you started!

  • Moving learning to an outside environment can be an easy way to incorporate activity into the day.  Going to a local park to identify wildlife can make a routine activity novel and engaging!
  • Make your house interactive; turn the stairs into the alphabet for spelling practice or using numbers for addition/subtraction/multiplication/division.
  • Take time when eating meals to explain the importance of a balanced and nutritious diet.
  • Even something as easy as explaining trade jobs is an important function in society. Teaching them about each can go a long way!

Encourage the Entire Family

Play isn’t just for young kids, though.  Even your teens and young adults benefit in many ways from regular physical activity.  Encouraging them to gather their friends and play a game of pick-up ball at the local park is a great way to get everyone involved.  Maybe even inspire them to pick up a new hobby involving physical activity such as golf, biking, or swimming!

little girl watering flowers in her garden

Our bodies want to move, play, and explore the world around us.  Whatever you can imagine can be counted as physical activity as long as you get them moving!  Make it fun and interactive! No matter what your child enjoys, it can be a positive experience for all.

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