The current challenges facing today’s families may seem overwhelming. Kids at home for school. Parents trying to work from home. Social distancing. Washing, washing and rewashing of hands. Wiping, spraying, cleaning, wearing gloves, masks and the list goes on! All of this in an effort to keep our families from “getting” sick! Although this is very important and necessary, we as parents need to ask ourselves what can we do to not only keep from “getting” sick but to actually help our kids “stay” healthy and active? Here’s a few tips to help guide you through these trying times.
Maintaining a regular school day/daily routine helps decrease stress, instill security, and give kids a feeling of normalcy.
- Keep Regular Wake-up / Bedtime Schedules
- Create an Organized School / Workspace Environment
- Practice Normal Hygiene Routines
- Allow Children Short Breaks Throughout the School Day
Eat Well / Sleep Well
Keeping your child’s immune system strong is very important. Good nutrition and proper rest are vital to supporting the immune system.
- Choose Healthy and Nutritionally Dense Foods (Fruits, Vegetables, Protein, Healthy Fats and Low Sugar)
- Stay Hydrated; Drink Water and Limit High Sugar Drinks
- Adequate Sleep is 8-12 Hours a Night Depending on the Age of Your Child
- Turn Off / Avoid Electronics Preferably 1 Hour Before Going to Bed
You may have noticed your kids have a lot of energy. Here are some fun physical activities for your child and the whole family.
- Go Big on Yard Games! Promote as Much Outdoor Activity as Possible!
- Create a Hopscotch Course Full of Various Shapes, Sizes, and Themes
- Fitness Scavenger Hunt: Customize a List of Exercises to Locate, Complete, and Check Off
- Lawn Twister: Replicate the Twister Game by Spray Painting Circles on the Lawn and Make a Homemade Game Piece Spinner
- Outdoor Obstacle Course with Various Household Objects
- Outdoor Track and Field Activities (Standing Long Jump, Running Long Jump, High Jump, Hurdling, Shotput)
- Practice Skills Related to Ball Sports (Basketball, Football, Baseball, Soccer)
- Jump Rope (Long, Short, Double Dutch)
- Frisbee Toss
- Family Walks, Hikes & Bike Rides
- Train for a Family Race (3k, 5k, 10k)
- Indoor Circuit Training Stations (Various Timed Activities to Music)
- Indoor Dance Party
Emotional Wellness & Self Care
Both Adults and children can experience high levels of stress and anxiety. Here are a few things to help your children & family cope during challenging times.
- Meditate Upon and Memorize Scripture and God’s Promises
- Choose Bible Verses to Memorize as a Family
- Practice Gratitude: Make a Daily List of Things You Are Thankful For
- Choose Joy: Laugh, Tell Jokes, Find Humor Throughout the Day
- Help Others While Maintaining Social Distancing (Neighbors, Elderly & Needy)
- Take Time for Yourself to Refresh and Rejuvenate
- Enjoy a Hobby or a Craft
- Allow Your Kids to Take Short Breaks to Help Refocus During School
- Be Aware of Changes in Your Child’s Behavior or Mood
Lastly, but most importantly, what does God have to say about being healthy and staying fit? The Bible teaches us that God values our physical bodies and considers them to be the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). As Christians, we honor God by caring for our bodies so that we may be thoroughly equipped for every good work (2 Timothy 3:17). In 3 John 1:2, he states “I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul.”
Physical Education Expert