I’ve got a 1 year old. She is the most social and active 1 year old ever, I’m sure of it. She NEEDS interaction with other kids, NEEDS to be running and climbing and go-go-going. She can’t be the only one, either. On top of that, so many kids are normally playing sports, have PE class, or go to places like the park to use up some of that seemingly-never-ending energy, but we need to be careful for our little ones and for those among us who could be more severely affected by this pandemic.
On top of that, exercise and/or gross motor play is so important to keep our little ones’ bodies strong while they grow, as well as improve their response to stress (like viruses, parents being worried about viruses, etc), and help their minds stay sharp, too (exercise improves blood flow to your brain & helps you focus & learn)!
I am sure every mom reading this is thinking (among many other thoughts), “how am I going to get this kid’s energy out when we’re stuck at home all day for the next… who knows how long??”
Well, gross motor (whole-body) play is my sort-of expertise, as a pediatric physical therapist. I am GOOD at getting kids good and tired with running, obstacle courses, dancing, and Olympic-type competitions.
So I thought I’d share a few of my favorite resources (and some recommended by other Austin Moms bloggers)!
- Obstacle Course – This can be made with almost anything in your home. I love to take the cushions off the couch, use our laundry basket for climbing in/on (depending on size of kiddo), throw a blanket/sheet over some chairs for crawling under, use big books for stepping stones/floor is lava. You can put multiple books in a row for a balance beam! There are really endless ways you can vary this activity, depending on what you have available at home. Some more ideas could be found at: – Playing And Learning Begins at Home
– Fun and Function
- Home Olympics! Again, this is one you can change up in so many ways. Anything can be an Olympic sport. Some ideas include:
– Races: sprints, egg-carry, three-legged, running backward or sideways, etc.
– Hopping on 1 foot
– Long jump
– Push ups
– Wall sit
– Discus using paper plates
– Incorporate the obstacle course into the Olympics!
– Activity Village has some printables and more ideas on opening & closing ceremony, if you’re willing to go all-out!
– Dinosaur PT also has some great ideas that may require more specific equipment, but if you’ve got it they would be fun!
- Yoga – This is one that you can do without ANY equipment at all and it doesn’t take up a lot of space! You could easily search youtube for fun videos to do together, but I’ll link a few & other resources I like here:
– Cosmic Kids Yoga – including this Frozen-inspired yoga practice!
- Kidzbop Zumba – Did you know there are Kidzbop zumba routines for free on youtube? This was recommended to me by a fellow Austin Moms blogger, as her daughter does these at school. What a fun way to change up the physical activity for the day!
– This one is 30 min long and has a bunch of songs in a row
– Or you could go song by song, for instance – Can’t Stop the Feeling
- Simon Says – I know this sounds silly and simple, but it is a simple way to change up the normal routine for exercise! Just pick a bunch of physical activities and give it a go! For instance:
Simon Says: Do 10 jumping Jacks
Do 5 sit ups
Spin around 3 times
Hop on 1 foot for 30 seconds
- Mommy and Me workout – There is a PLETHORA of these type of videos on Youtube, as well; ranging from mommy & infant to whole family (all ages), with yoga, dance, or cardio-inspired themes. Some fun ones I’ve found include:
What other ideas do you have for at-home P.E./exercise for your family in the next few weeks?
Photography: Lauren Samuels Photography