Summer break is almost here, and the kids will soon be home 24/7. But, don’t panic: there are plenty of indoor activities and exercises you can do at home to keep them busy and moving. Although we love the extra time we may get to spend with them, how do we make sure the whole house doesn’t go stir-crazy? To prevent excessive idleness (i.e. prolonged video-gaming, TV watching, device playing), here are some fun things you can do to keep your kids moving, active, and healthy:
Stand Up and March: Set a timer for 15 minutes and have the kids march in place while playing their favorite video game or watching television.
Freeze Dance: What is more fun than showing off your best dance moves? Turn on some upbeat music and get everyone dancing. When you stop the music everyone must freeze in place; working on balance and core strengthening without even thinking about it.
10-Minute Workout Circuit: Try a quick workout routine twice a day. Lead by example and participate with the kids. Below are some ideas to help you get started, do 10 rounds of each activity.
1: Jumping Jacks – 1 min
2: Push-Ups – 1 min
3: Run in Place – 1 min
4: Lunges – 1 min
5: Kid’s Choice – 1 min
Scavenger Hunt: Give them clues to get off the couch and search around for hidden treasures. You can alter the game to be inside or outside (or a mix of both).
Activity Contest: Challenge the kids to keep track of their exercises and activities. You can also use fitness trackers and smartwatches to keep track of which family member gets the most steps in a day. Have a stash of small prizes for that day’s winner.
Obstacle Course: Get creative and use items like swimming pool noodles, gym balls, and hula hoops to make an obstacle course in the sprinklers.
Neck Stretching: Excessive TV watching, video games, and hand-held devices can contribute to poor posture and neck pain. Have the kids regularly perform these exercises for improved postural awareness.
Chin Tucks: Draw your head back so your ears are in line with shoulders. Perform the exercise 3 sets of 10 repetitions.
Shoulder blade squeezes: Sit up tall and bring your shoulder blades back and hold. Perform the exercise 3 sets of 10 repetitions with 3-second hold.
Neck Rotations: Turn your head to one side, then slowly return to looking straight ahead. Perform the exercise 3 sets of 10 repetitions. Repeat on the other side.
Healthy Snacks: Help develop your child’s culinary skills by having them help prepare some easy and healthy snacks while standing at the kitchen counter. Try making fruit or vegetable kebabs. For a cool summer treat, it is also very easy to make fresh fruit popsicles.
FAST Training: Get the kids moving at the personal training programs we have available at many of our valley-wide Foothills Sports Medicine locations. The strength and conditioning specialists will help your kids reach their fitness and performance goals.
We hope these at-home exercises, activities, and snack ideas help fight off boredom and keep your family healthy and happy this summer. If your child is experiencing a pain that is keeping them from being active, call us to schedule a children’s physical therapy appointment.