Are your kids bouncing off the walls now that we are all staying home?
Kids need lots of movement throughout their day. Regular movement opportunities help meet your child’s sensory needs, develop gross motor skills, improve strength and mobility and helps them concentrate on tabletop or structured learning activities.
However, it’s tricky at the moment when our regular playground playdates and extra-curricular sporting activities have been cancelled, our kids are home all day and us parents are trying to manage working from home while parenting and home-schooling. Here are some ideas to keep the kids moving and occupied so you can reply to that email without 18 requests for snacks.
Blow up a balloon, tie it up, toss it into the air and use your hands to keep tapping it up in the air. Don’t let it hit the floor. This is a really fun activity to work on visual tracking, hand eye coordination and crossing the midline. Increase the challenge by using a toy bat to hit the balloon. Don’t have a toy bat? Use a roll of glad wrap, a lightsabre or a rolling pin.
Hopscotch is a fantastic activity to develop jumping and hopping skills, body awareness, motor coordination and accuracy. Use some chalk to draw a hopscotch on your driveway – get your kids to help and you’re working on their fine motor skills and planning as well! Don’t have somewhere outside to draw a hopscotch?? Use offcuts of fabric on the carpet inside.
PAPER PLATE SKATING:
Turn your home into a skating rink! Place paper plates under your feet and get skating! This is so great for balance, lower body strength and stability, coordination and probably most importantly energy expenditure!
Create your own hurdle track at home! Grab a bunch of teddies or soft toys and line them up with a space (about 20cm to start) in between each. Have your child jump with two feet over each ‘teddy hurdle’. Increase difficulty by increasing the space between the hurdles or for even more challenge, try hopping on one foot over the hurdles. A great activity for gross motor development, strength, coordination, motor planning and sequencing.
INDOOR OBSTACLE COURSE:
Get creative and use things around your home to make an obstacle course. Obstacle courses are an incredibly versatile activity and can be easily adapted to the space you have available. They’re a great way to work on a range of motor skills, strength and coordination.
- Pop your couch cushions on the floor and crawl over the top of them.
- Hop on one foot over the rug.
- Commando crawl under the dining table.
- Bear walk down the corridor.
- Frog jump back.
- Do 8-star jumps.
- Walk back over the couch cushions on the floor.
- Pencil roll over the rug.
- Lay on your back, bend your knees and use your feet to scoot your body backwards under the dining table.
- Do a silly dance!!
CLOTHESLINE TOTEM TENNIS:
Don’t have a totem tennis poll? No worries, make your own using things around your home. Grab some old stockings (let’s face it, we are living in trackies at the moment!), cut one of the legs off and push a tennis ball right down to the toes and tie it onto your clothesline. Use your bat / glad wrap roll / rolling pin etc to hit the tennis ball. This is a great activity for developing visual tracking, hand eye coordination, motor coordination, timing and accuracy.
BACKYARD OR INDOOR SOCCER:
Use a laundry basket on its side as the goal, a soccer ball (or any round ball) and go for gold. Don’t have a backyard? Use a soft ball OR grab an old newspaper, scrunch the paper and add layers to make a soccer ball sized ball (secretly working on those fine motor skills too!) and you’re good to go!
Yoga is an amazing way to get kids moving with control, develop body awareness and strength. There are a few ways to get a yoga fix for your kids from the comfort of your own living room.
Pinterest has loads of yoga printables available but if your kids need a little more guidance, Cosmic Kids Yoga is free and available on YouTube. These yoga sessions are aimed at kids, are highly engaging and a really nice way for your kids to work on their motor skills while centring their energy and focus. This is in no way sponsored, I just really love this for my own kids.
Put on your favourite beats and dance around the house. Your kids (and you too!) are free to move their bodies however they want. This is fantastic for your child to explore movement in their own body, develop body awareness and most importantly have fun. It’s also a really nice way for parents to connect with your kids and let go of any stress you might be feeling.