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kid activities during quarantine

Get Your Kids Moving During Quarantine

Due to stay at home orders, we are all moving around a lot less – especially kids. Most remote learning doesn’t include PE or recess. We are no longer going to parks and playgrounds to hang on monkey bars or walking to and from school. Paused are after school gymnastics, dance or soccer classes. Our children are more stationary than normal, yet gross motor skills remain an important part of a child’s development.

Integrating movement activities into your child’s daily routine is so important for a host of reasons, many obvious and some less so. It may seem counterintuitive but in order to expect and help your child tap into moments of stillness and focus needed for classroom learning and most certainly for Zoom-based remote learning, you have to incorporate and encourage moments of high-energy play and exploration. By satisfying the integral need to physically move, explore and expel energy, you then allow your kiddos a better chance at tapping into the ability to find focus. Studies tout the importance of allotting time for movement and brief walks for adults hunkered down into the workplace, and the same goes for kids ten-fold.

To get us all through this quarantine (i.e. being smooshed into tiny living spaces 24/7), here are gross motor activities that can be done inside your home and with minimal instruction or effort on the part of moms and dads:

 

Heads Shoulders Knees and Toes Challenge 

This is an easy breezy one. Simply guide your kiddo through several rounds of “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes”, starting at a normal speed and progressively moving faster and faster. By the end your kiddo should be scrambling to move as quickly as you and cracking up. Need extra help? Pop on Curated Care Kid Expert Abbie R‘s video of this exact challenge to have someone else lead your littles through this.

At-Home Obstacle Course

Grab your pillows, blankets, stools, chairs and other climbable but low-to-the ground furniture and ask kiddos to create their very own obstacle course. The effort of moving and designing the furniture and then going through the process of doing their obstacle course is a perfect mix of brain and muscle power for your kiddo. Bonus: after they have done it several times, have them do it backwards for an extra challenge.

Freeze Dance

This classic is such a breeze but never fails to entertain. Pop on your favorite tunes and have everyone stand up and get ready to dance. Let them know when the music is on, you will dance, dance and dance and when it stops, you have to freeze! You can do multiple versions of this to extend the activity – silly face freeze dance, superhero pose freeze dance, animal freeze dance, etc.

Simon Says

There is a reason this game has such staying power. It’s fun and simple enough for every age to enjoy. You will be Simon, leading kiddos through Simon Says – “Simon Says touch your head! Simon Says touch your belly! …touch your toes!” If any kiddos do a command when you haven’t said “Simon Says” they are out! To extend this activity allow your kiddos a chance to be Simon.

Red Light, Green Light

 A similarly classic game that’s easy and captivating for all – red light, green light can be done just by saying the commands “red light, green light” or you also use red and green paper or objects if you have them handy. Simply stand on one side of the room with your kiddo on the other. When you say “green light” they move forward, and when you say “red light” they stop. Once they reach you on the other side they win! You can extend this game by creating different rounds with specific ways kiddos must move – for example round 1 is normal, round 2 can be skips, round 3 is hops, etc.

Enjoy! And remember – carving out 10 minutes of focused movement activities to lead your kiddo through each day will help them maintain a healthy balance of work and play and will help resolve that inherit parent guilt you feel after your trillionth conference call of the day. Allocating just a small portion of time for one of these activities will benefit both you, physically and mentally 🙂

In need of extra help? Book one-on-one, virtual sessions on curatedcare.com for interaction and fun for your crew!