Whether it’s because of lockdown or it’s the summer holidays, helping your children to stay active at home is important. Physical education is a vital part of any child’s development and should not be neglected.
Even on the busiest of days, there are so many hassle-free activities you can try with your children at home.
Benefits of Physical Education
P.E. can be a beneficial part of your child’s routine for a multitude of reasons. Some benefits include:
• The promotion of general physical health.
• Helps to develop motor skills and strengthen muscles.
• Better quality sleep after exercise.
• Outlet for stress or other negative emotions.
• Helps to encourage a healthy relationship with body image from a young age.
• Encourages improved self-discipline and responsibility.
• Helps to cultivate confidence.
• It’s fun!
Treating P.E. like a fun and exciting activity that you can participate in together will make P.E. at home an enjoyable part of the day for parents and children alike.
Initially, you may think that P.E. and the internet don’t necessarily go together, but there are so many great virtual P.E. resources out there.
If the weather or circumstance is keeping you inside, online videos and activities can be a great place to start when you want to get your kids moving and engaged.
Best Virtual Resources
1. Just Dance – these follow-along dance routines can be found easily on YouTube and are a simple way to get your kids moving along to their favourite songs.
2. Yoga – there are plenty of YouTube channels dedicated to yoga and kid’s yoga specifically. The Cosmic Kids Yoga channel guides you through 10-20 minuteƒΩ stretches set to the backdrop of different colourful and immersive locations. The Yoga with Adriene channel on YouTube is also a great yoga resource with specific kids yoga playlists.
3. Sworkit Kids – this app provides a collection of customisable workouts and activities that can be tailored to your child’s age, ability and amount of time you have available. With the challenges and mini exercises, this activity will feel more like an exciting game than a chore.
Skipping ropes are a simple and fun way to encourage your children to get moving. Like many P.E. activities, skipping can be turned into a game easily. Maybe you could give out challenges like ‘how many skips can you do in a minute?’
It is also a good idea to encourage your children to come up with their own mini-challenges to keep them engaged in their personal P.E. development.
Perhaps not as dangerous as it sounds, this activity could involve throwing balls or beanbags into designated hoops or buckets. Encourage your kids to get creative and set up a course of different sized ‘targets’. This activity is good for practising motor skills and arm strength.
This is another activity that can be customised and will keep your kids active all day.
Setting up mini obstacles and challenges around the house and garden will not only encourage children to keep moving but will also encourage them to get creative when coming up with each station and figuring out the best way to solve each activity.
Obstacle courses could also be themed around your child’s interest; for example, you could make each activity dinosaur themed (i.e. climbing over some strategically stacked pillows becomes climbing over a T-rex).
Some things to include in your obstacle course might be:
• Jumping over low obstacles like beanbags or hula-hoops.
• Climbing over low furniture like benches and stools.
• Skipping ropes.
• Running from designated start and end points.
It goes without saying, but make sure you are supervising your child when they attempt more elaborate obstacle courses or challenges. These kinds of activities can be easily adapted to accommodate children of all abilities; knowing how much your child can do is also important.
After you’ve tried out a couple of activities, it might be a fun idea to combine all your child’s favourites and hold an at-home mini Olympics.
This would also be an excellent opportunity to combine other creative elements and teaching moments for your child. You could encourage their artistic skills and make hand-drawn medals or certificates to get them excited about ‘winning’ the activities you set up.
St Peter’s Prep is a private school in Devon, and we are dedicated to ensuring your child gets the most out of their education; this includes a well-rounded physical education. To find out more, or arrange a tour, please call Rachel Elliott, Director of Admissions & Marketing, on 01395 280335 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more ideas on how to keep your child active and happy at home, why not take a look at some of our other at-home activity recommendations: