Today I’m sharing some ideas for keeping your whole family entertained, active and engaged – both indoors and outdoors. There’s inspiration for exercising in the park and getting active in the garden, as well as some enjoyable, educational and FREE things you can do indoors. Enjoy..!
MAKE DAILY EXERCISE FUN
Exercise is so important for both physical and mental health so be sure to do something to get your family moving every day. Cycling is a great way to exercise and it’s much more interesting for kids than a daily walk. Sure, you’ve got to be safe while cycling – with all the necessary helmets, lights, reflective gear and safety equipment – but it certainly provides an element of fun when the family is exercising together. I remember doing Bikeability training when I was at school so I’m guessing that your little ones will have been through a similar course themselves. Bikeability have provided guidance on cycling during lockdown so have a read of that info before you set off.
For younger children, or anyone who hasn’t yet got the hang of two-wheel bikes, a tricycle provides just as much exercise but with the added stability and safety of that extra third wheel. You’ve heard of mountain bikes, right? But have you heard of Jorvik mountain trikes?? They allow you to cycle off-road and you can even get electric-powered versions, which are helpful for the older members of the family who might not otherwise be able to cycle some distances. Plus, a tricycle has more storage space on the back for carrying essentials home with you.
PLAYING AT THE PARK
Make sure the kids stay active when they’re at the park by encouraging them to run around – and what better way to do that than by throwing a Frisbee or kicking a ball about. They’ll be jumping, sprinting and stretching before you know it. And that’s much more interesting than just jogging along the paths. It’s even possible to get a boomerang that can be used both outdoors and indoors – although I’m 100% NOT responsible if this causes any kind of damage in your house haha!
ACTIVE IN THE GARDEN
If you’re out in the garden, children (and us big kids!) can always stay active by jumping with a skipping rope – either alone or in pairs. Just make sure that the length of the rope is the right size for you, otherwise you might get in a tangle. Another idea for exercising while playing is a keepy-uppy session. You can use a beanbag, football, juggling ball or a Ukick (a bit like a feathered badminton shuttlecock) and keep count of how many times you can keep it in the air using your feet or hands. Kids will be so busy counting that they won’t realise they’re exercising!
GET CREATIVE INDOORS
If the weather isn’t so great, indoor activities are really important for keeping the whole family entertained. I highly recommend Aardman modelmaker Jim Parkyn’s free daily workshops on Instagram and YouTube where you can follow along to make a character from plasticine. I’ve been following Jim’s tutorials to make some little clay creatures myself and it’s been a lovely creative escape from reality for an hour or so. Plus, I then get to share my creations on Instagram and feel very proud of myself haha!
If possible, try to combine a boredom busting activity with something educational, such as cooking a recipe together, building an electric or wind-up toy from a kit, or doing a sewing project. You can get free digital downloads of the bear pattern (that I used for my own teddy bear projects) as well as a simple felt panda project on the Amazing Craft website completely free of charge at the moment.
For more ideas on free ways to get creative at home (for all ages!) check out BBC Radio Suffolk’s Creative Catch-up online or listen live at 7pm on Mondays. Please do let me know if you have any other ideas for keeping the family entertained, active and engaged at home – I’d love to hear what you’ve been up to so please leave a comment below with your stay-at-home tips 🙂
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