Regular workouts ease depression and lift mood according to studies performed on adults, but regular exercise may be even more important to the health and mental well-being of children. Especially now, while kids are stuck at home with parents who are struggling to deliver homeschool lessons, a jolt of fun physical activity may be just what families need to keep the ship afloat.
Here’s an At-Home PE Primer chock full of fun do-at-home ideas for your family room, basement or backyard. No athletic equipment? No problem. Who needs a yoga ball when you have couch cushions?
First, please take the adult Homeschool PE pledge. Repeat after me:
I love my kids. I want them to stay active and healthy. This is not a workout or a conditioning session. I am not a PE teacher. I am a fun manager. This is FUN time. Let the FUN begin.
Here are some ideas to get your FUN rolling:
- Run the bases (outside) using tree stumps, sticks, dog toys, or whatever is handy to designate the bases
- Run in place (indoors) according to the story you/they make up (run away from the bad guys! save the world!)
- Hold your plank? No way, I’m a bridge! Everybody has to crawl under me. Pay a toll or you can’t go through!
- Monster walk? Let’s do the monster mash instead. Put on the tunes and let’s have a dance party!
- Got a yoga ball? Balance on your belly and fly! What can you see from up there?!
- No yoga ball? Use couch cushions or pillows under your tummy and fly! Turbulence? Can you stay on course? Did you make a crash landing? (no injuries, please!)
- Jumping jacks are so yesterday. Let’s be rocket ships counting liftoff bursts or I’m-a-stars launching into the heavens!
- Want to “pump some iron” but you don’t have hand weights? Find some cans in the pantry or fill empty water bottles with pebbles.
Want to make it a family affair? Create an add-on story together. Go on a bear hunt, a galaxy-spanning rescue, or a virus seek and destroy mission. Let your imagination take you away! Wiggle through the reeds, leap over the big rocks, tip toe across the narrow log, hot foot it across the living room lava flow! Lift off, spin out, dig deep, fly high! And be sure to do the sound effects.
Kids are masters at making this stuff up. Put them in charge and see where they take you. Watch ’em engage in ways they never would if we were in charge.
Who knows? The coronavirus may spark a whole new exercise craze that has families doing fitness together just for the FUN of it.