Keep Moving: Physical Activities for Families
As we enter the final month of winter, many of us are counting down the days until the official start of spring. However, as we look forward to the warmer days ahead, it is important to continue to take care of ourselves and our loved ones while inside during the remaining winter days. The team here at British American Household Staffing has put together our list of top ways for families to stay active and spend time together, even in bad weather. One hour of physical activity per day is ideal to boost mood and energy, increase quality of sleep, build confidence, and promote overall health.
Yoga for the Whole Family
There are plenty of free videos on YouTube for families and children who would like to practice yoga together. One of our favourite channels for young children is Cosmic Kids Yoga; there are dozens of themed videos, from holiday celebrations to familiar storybook and movie characters - each video introduces children to different yoga and meditation poses, and helps to build strength, balance, and confidence. For older children (with options for younger too), we love Harmony Family Yoga. For $49/month, the whole family can enjoy unlimited access to both live and on-demand classes. They offer courses specifically for children, teens, adults, and families, as well as chair yoga for those with limited mobility. For little yogis, we suggest picking up a copy of the bestselling children's book I Am Yoga and a whimsical, eco-conscious children's yoga mat.
Go Noodle is a valuable resource for families during this time; the site and free app has plenty of games downloadable for iOS and Android to keep children moving and get a healthy dose of physical activity each day, even indoors. The site states: “We’ve worked hard to ensure that the games use movements that are safe for kids’ growing bodies but still provide plenty of exercise. Kids should be panting by the time they’re done playing; these games are designed to tire kids out!” The games are interactive and require movement and engagement to succeed; all you need is a smart device and the free app. The site also features a resource section with tips and advice for adults guiding children through the pandemic and more.
We do recommend trying not to rely solely on screen-led activities for children's movement. Parents.com shared this fun article about creating a safe and fun obstacle course for children at home; they suggest inventing a storyline, involving kids in the setup and creation (and the cleanup too!), and setting a timer. This is a creative way to get children moving and involved in a friendly family competition; consider making it a weekly or biweekly activity with new plots and challenges each time.
Games for the Whole Family
Plan games that keep the whole family moving! Games like The Floor is Lava Board Game, Musical Jump & Toss, and Fitness Dice are all great ways to spend time together as a family, while keeping everyone active and healthy. For a fun last-minute game with no equipment needed, play Freeze Dance - just put on your favorite music and dance! When the music stops, everyone has to freeze. Anyone who doesn't freeze has to do five jumping jacks.
Embrace Winter Weather
Children are more resilient than we think, and while we might want to stay in on a snowy day, children often relish a cold day playing outside, sledding, building snowmen, or even having an old-fashioned snowball fight. For even more fun, plan ahead and get a Sno-Art Kit to paint the snow or click here for a list of 29 Games To Play in the Snow. To manage expectations and safety, agree on a time limit for staying outdoors and plan a fun activity for afterwards, like making s'mores or hot chocolate, or watching a cozy movie by the fire. And if you're concerned about bundling your children up for the temperatures, consult REI's guide to dressing children appropriately for winter weather.