3 Ways to Add Playful Movement at Home
Are your kids full of energy? Most kids are. In the dead of winter, when temps are frigid, it can be such a challenge to know what to do with all that energy! It can feel like the walls are closing in on your home. You send them outside but it takes 15 minutes to get everyone dressed and in 5 minutes of being outside they have rosy cheeks, snot running down their face, and are crying that the snow “hurts”. So back inside they come tracking all that wet snow into the house before you even had a chance to respond to that text, take a sip of your coffee while it was hot, begin to prepare dinner, or go to the bathroom in peace. Sound familiar?
Many toddlers and preschoolers will desire 1-3 hours of high-impact physical activity per day! The best way to meet that need to move is to break it up into two 30-minute sessions in the morning and afternoon and then add opportunities for movement throughout the daily rhythms. School-aged children don’t require quite as much movement but 30 minutes to one hour of daily movement is still beneficial. This can be such a challenge for parents in the winter months when it’s cold and dark so here are a few tips from Encourage Club parent coach, Tricia Calik.
3 tips for including movement into your daily rhythms:
1. Keep it simple and fun with a family dance party, freeze dance, or dance-off competition.
2. Add movement to transitions. Time to clean up? Set a timer and see how fast you can do it. Time to wash hands for dinner? Crawl like a bear, hop like a frog, or do a wheelbarrow walk to get to the sink. Time to brush teeth? Can you balance on one foot or dance on your tippy toes while you brush your teeth? Time to get in the car? Be creative about how you will get there – will you walk backward, spin in a circle, or jump like a kangaroo to get to the car?
3. Create indoor obstacle courses or movement competitions. Be creative and have fun! Maybe you start by crawling under the dining room table, climbing up on a chair and jumping off, dinosaur stomp to the pile of blankets, jump into the blanket pile then roll like a log to get off the blankets, stand on one foot for 3 seconds, then run to the blocks or legos where you will see how fast you can build a tower! There are no rules and your child(ren) might have fun creating the movement course too. Use painter’s tape on the floor, blankets, pillows, furniture, or toys to create boundaries or obstacles. You can add music or pull out your phone to record your child moving on time-lapse or slow-motion mode for added fun and giggles!
Have you ever considered adding movement to your child’s daily rhythms and routines in this way?
If you give it a try or have your own ideas that work, we’d love to hear about them! Let’s cheer each other on in the comments!