Now more than ever we need to ensure that children are getting exercise daily. Home isolation and social distancing mean that outside activities and team sports are not possible, but worry not, parents! There are LOTS of ways you can get your kids moving and having fun while they stay at home.
Use this time to help your kids build healthy habits which will stay with them for life!
The Saudi Sports for All Federation (SFA) has put together a series of motivational ideas to encourage everyone to get up and get moving. Why? ‘Cus you’re never too young to start! Here are the SFA’s top five tips to make exercise at home more fun and creative…
1. Skips and jumps!
Set a challenge by choosing a word in your child’s favourite book and every time you read the story and the word is used, jump up and do an exercise, such as star jumps or skipping.
2. A wacky potato sack race
Hold a wacky race using potato sacks, trash bags or pillowcases for a sack race and jump or hop to a finish line. For a more toddler-friendly version, skip the sacks and imitate animals to the finish line… maybe a cat, a frog or a penguin! Or compete in a three-legged race. Group yourself into teams of two and tie one person’s leg to another (It should look something like this). Add some obstacles along the way to make it harder. You could also grab some extra yarn or string and build a maze, then channel your inner secret agent to try to get across without touching the ‘laser’ strings.
3. A dance off!
Dance your socks off! Dance (or Zumba) is a fantastic way to work out with your kids. It uses all the muscles in the body and children love to boogie, especially when they see adults having fun too. You can play musical statues, getting everyone to dance and then holding their pose when the music stops. You can also learn new dances from YouTube and TikTok and get the whole family involved!
4. Board games with a twist
Board games don’t have to be boring. Build-in an activity challenge to a family game of Ludo. Either the winner can choose an activity for everyone else to do, or the winner has to do a series of squats. If you’re a fan of Jenga write exercises on the blocks and every time a block is pulled out everyone has to try the move. Charades can also be a really active game. Need some inspiration for what to act out? Check out this list of charade words for kids.
5. Make your own bowling alley
Indoor soccer or indoor bowling… If your kids still miss team sports, bring the soccer game indoors. Set up makeshift goals at each end of a hallway and grab a plastic ball. Or use some plastic cups as pins to turn your hallway into a bowling alley. Genius!
You have NO excuse – get moving!
As well as providing the five tips above, the SFA has launched a series of initiatives to encourage families to stay active while they stay at home including, Bayak Nadeek (Your Home, Your Gym) and Move to Donate, which will increase donations to the Saudi Food Bank during the Holy Month of Ramadan. More information is available on the SFA Healthy Living portal.