Use screen time for good: 7 virtual tools to help keep kids active during lockdown
Save yourself some parental guilt
As you struggle to tame the couch potato within from chomping down on three bags of potato wafers, your baby potatoes also seem to have warmed up to the cushioned slice of heaven that is your sofa. Trying to keep your kids active while being chained down at home is not an easy feat, and yet a task you can’t afford to brush aside.
If you’ve run through all the activities we suggested in our article on how to keep your kids busy during Coronavirus break, it may be time to get physical.
Physical activity has been recorded to improve academic performance amongst children, and also enhance cognitive functions related to attention and memory, which in turn facilitate learning. A study also states that regular physical activity lowers depressive symptoms in kids aged between six and eight.
But how do you manage to get in a sweat-sesh with your kids when you’re trapped indoors? Well, turn to what has now become an extension of your child’s limbs – the screen.
Here is a list of virtual fitness tools that will make fitness fun for your children, and life easier for you.
7 virtual tools to help keep you sane and keep kids active (and entertained)
This YouTube channel is a great way to introduce your children to yoga and mindfulness.
Jaime Amor, who stars in the video, takes the kids on interactive adventures that work towards building strength, and balance.
She also uses characters like Mario to act as yoga buddies for your little ones, lets them spend an afternoon on the beach with Moana and even takes them on a super fun, and interactive bear hunt.
Amor also uses storytelling as a tool to encourage children to engage in physical activity by enacting the story using yoga poses.
These interactive videos last anywhere between 15 minutes to an hour.
These dance-along videos are ideal for kids who love to sing and dance, and are also instructed by kids and teenagers who love to sing and dance.
Kids are sure to get more interested when the instructor is a relatable tiny human too and not a towering adult giving you instructions. A couple of these videos in the evening are sure to tire your little one enough to go to bed on time (We hope).
These super short videos are almost always less than five minutes long and, like a virtual time machine, will take you back to the ’90s when you’d stand in front of your no- so-flat TVs and ape steps from your favourite singer’s music videos.
The Body Coach TV on YouTube is known for its rigorous workouts for adults. The channel also has a separate segment called P.E. with Joe, which includes exercises and workout regimes specifically designed for children.
Founder Joe Wicks stars in these equipment-free workout videos that are suitable for kids of all ages.
Wicks has one 30-minute-long workout out every weekday that can be streamed live or can be found on The Body Coach TV channel on YouTube.
“Interact, connect, have fun, and join together in fitness” is Wicks’ motto to help everyone get off their couches during lockdown and get their adrenaline pumping — so sweat along with your kid if you’ve been slacking on your own workouts.
GoNoodle is a physical wellness-oriented platform for children, used by both parents and educational institutions. The video bank includes content on everything from dance, sports and exercise to yoga, breathing and mindfulness.
The content is created by a team of child development experts, who consult with choreographers, athletes and mindfulness coaches to create interactive and meaningful content.
A special mention to Go Noodle’s Fresh Start Fitness videos that are a kid-proofed version of the high intensity workouts that fitness-focused adults swear by. With super energetic instructors, and thumping music, your kid will stay glued and also feel like a little bit of a grown-up.
Staying on track with your exercise regime is a struggle enough, but trying to keep kids active, especially toddlers, is a whole different ball game. This YouTube channel is ideal for toddlers who have just begun to enjoy nursery rhymes.
Creative takes on classic nursery rhymes, these videos encourage toddlers to dance along. The songs also get some learning in, as they cover topics like numbers, alphabets, road safety and a lot more.
This initiative by Disney brings together classics like The Lion King, Peter Pan, The Incredibles and more, and fun exercises to help you spend constructive family time together.
From energetic dance routines to relaxing yoga sessions – each Disney-inspired episode, led by an instructor and usually featuring some pint-size workout buddies, will help your little one put their pent-up energy to good use.
Easy explanations, Disney references, flashes of scenes from your favourite movies, and even reenactments of scenes, make these 5-10 minute videos a fun activity for both old and new Disney fans.
If you feel like your house is too small for your kids’ toys or if you are that parent who is trying to fulfil their childhood fantasies by buying everything at Hamleys, this channel might help justify your latest stuffed animal splurge.
From teddy bears to paper planes, these videos encourage kids to use props while working out — helping them work on their motor skills, strength, balance, coordination and brain power.
Now when your kids try to emotionally blackmail you for extra screen time mid-way through your Monday review meeting, you can make them a counter offer they can’t refuse.