Lockdown has taken its toll on children. Prolonged isolation and the closure of schools has had an adverse impact on both the mental and physical health of primary school pupils across the country. Prior to the pandemic, physical activity had been incorporated into the school day as a matter of routine, but in the wake of COVID-19, schools and parents face the prospect of re-establishing sports and activity as a vital part of everyday life.
Now it is lighter and warmer throughout the day, it’s the perfect time to get your kids back into the routine of being active. Whether this includes exercising outside or keeping busy indoors, staying active will greatly improve your child’s mental and physical wellbeing.
And, what better way than as a family? Studies have found that children who get regular exercise are more likely to continue that into their adult lives. Studies also show that parents and adult role models are a key influence in a child’s motivation to maintain an active and healthy life, so getting active as a family will help to build the foundation for your children to become active, healthy adults.
With this in mind, we’ve collected our top tips and activity ideas for keeping your kids active this summer.
Why not take advantage of the beautiful Summer weather and get the whole family outside for a walk? While it’s always exciting to visit new places, you can invigorate your local, go-to walk with the Explorer’s Adventure activity. This activity turns your everyday walk into a new adventure by encouraging your kids to pay more attention to their immediate surroundings.
For Explorer’s Adventure, all you need is a clipboard, pen and paper for each child. As you continue on your walk, encourage your kids to write down any signs of life that they notice. This could be birds, bugs, or even plants. The more descriptive they can be, the better!
After more than a year of lockdown and home-schooling, the opportunity to get outside and play with siblings and friends is exciting. Encouraging some friendly competition with simple to learn games is a great way to get your kids to have fun while exercising together.
If you’re stuck for ideas, why not try out our Volcanoes and Craters activity? Grab an even number of plastic cups, or cones if you have some, and split the kids into 2 teams. It’s okay if they’re in teams of 1. Lay out the cups in between the 2 teams and set a timer. One team will try to turn the cups face up to create craters and the other, face down to make volcanoes. When the timer goes off, the team with the most of either craters or volcanoes wins!
Get your kids moving about in the backyard with some quick exercises that will get their hearts racing. Don’t forget to warm up first with some stretches or a game of Body Parts. Once you’ve warmed up, you can start with some exercises such as Balance Test and Standing Long Jump. Then, to boost agility and stamina, mix in some exercises such as Shuttle Runs and Speedy Jumps.
As these exercises can be tailored to burn energy without pushing your kids too hard, they’re also a great opportunity for parents and children to participate in low-intensity exercise together. As studies have shown, parents getting involved in exercise with their children and leading by example will encourage healthy, lifelong habits.
It’s no secret that the Great British weather is unreliable at the best of times, let alone in Summer.
Often spending so much time indoors in the last year, finding new and stimulating activities may be getting harder and harder for both you and your kids. But with a little encouragement, you can jumpstart your kids’ imagination and keep them entertained for hours.
Hidden Objects is a fun activity that can be played with a solo child or a group of children. Ask the kids to choose a book and 5 objects that relate to that book. Arrange the objects underneath a tea towel and give the kids 30 seconds to peek underneath and memorise the objects. Then, ask them to close their eyes and remove one of the objects. Lift the tea towel and the kids can guess which object is missing.
It would be remiss of us not to mention our very own holiday camps. With a range of different courses available, including multi-activity, sports, and performing arts camps, there’s something for every child.
Holiday activity programs are the perfect way to improve your child’s teamwork, confidence and social skills, without compromising on fun and learning. Plus, our COVID response means that you can rest easy, knowing that your child’s safety is our top priority. We’re the only holiday camp provider where all coaches have a Level 2 qualification in Infection Prevention, Mitigation and Management, and our risk assessments are stricter than ever.
Stay Active with Online Resources
The pandemic hasn’t been easy for families. Without regular PE classes, many children now have low physical fitness levels. With the summer holidays approaching, it’s the ideal time for the whole family to focus on getting active and exercising more.
Here at Premier Education, we’ve compiled a collection of free activity cards that will help keep kids engaged and active. With over 20 years’ of experience in running holiday camps and after school clubs, we’re confident that these activities will boost the mental and physical wellbeing of children with an emphasis on participant enjoyment.