“The child has a different relation to his environment from ours…the child absorbs it. The things he sees are not just remembered, they form part of his soul. He incarnates in himself all in the world about him that his eyes see and the ears hear.” Maria Montessori
We all know children are powerhouses of energy. Movement and physical activities are key to their mental and physical development. In their growing years, they should explore and discover the best for themselves. You may notice both children and adults are looking for ways to break the monotony of being at home due to online classes and work from home, respectively.
As you manage children and work, it is good to follow a healthy routine and stay fit. Helping children imbibe certain good practices at a young age is very good for their holistic development. How about some very kid-friendly exercises you both would enjoy trying. Let’s get started.
Warm-ups are important as it gets the body ready for the rest of the exercises.
- Squat- 15 seconds
- Jump- 15 seconds
- Spot Jog -15 seconds
These improve movement skills in children. Adding a few seconds extra and variations adds to the excitement. For example, jumping from side to side, to and fro are fun variations to make the exercise more challenging.
2) Coordination Cues
Children will be able to react to instructions only if they get used to certain words. This enhances better sensory skills in them.
- Bounce on your toes
- Bend and touch heels
- Swing hands up to the head and back
- Rotate the hips, shoulder and neck.
These cues help children to understand the instructions specific to their body parts. As parents, you are giving them vocabulary building activities too with this. Children develop their concentration which leads to better mind and body coordination.
3) Calf Raise
Ask your child to raise on his toes, from a standing position, hold for a few seconds and then lower. Repeat 10 times.
4) Side leg raises -Standing
In a standing position, your child should lift his leg to one side, almost parallel to the ground and come back to standing position. Repeat the same alternating both legs. It stretches the muscles well. Repeat 5 times holding for 10 counts.
5) Side leg raises- Lying on the floor
Make your kid lie on one side with legs kept together, supporting his head with his palm and elbow touching the floor. Slowly lift the leg that faces the ceiling to form a tilted V-position and come back down slowly to touch the other foot. Repeat 5 times and shift sides.
6) Hip Bridges
This exercise strengthens your back, much-needed due to work from home and sitting for long periods of time. Tell your child to lie on their back with the knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Ask him or her to lift their back while pressing the feet firmly on the floor. Hold for a few seconds and lower the back. Repeat for 10 times.
7) Mountain Climbers
This is a fun and sweat inducing exercise. Start your child out of the high plank position and instruct him or her to bring their knees close to the corresponding elbow. Shift between the legs and increase the speed to increase intensity.
8) Jumping Jacks
An easy exercise, this cardio-busting move sure gets your heart rate up! Jump with your legs wide open and raise your hands above your heads touching each other. Continue for 10 reps, pause for 10 seconds and repeat for three rounds.
Stretch your calf muscles, thighs, and work your lower body with lunges. Tell your child to step forward and bend the front knee to 90 degrees and the back knee touching the ground. Make sure your front knee does not pass your toes while in the position. Shift legs and repeat 10 times.
Every exercise routine should begin with a warm-up and end with a cool down.
- Walk slowly for 2-3 minutes to bring the heart rate down.
- Tell your child to sit down on a chair with his or her palm resting on the thighs. Guide them to breathe in and out 5 times. Concentrate on the inhale-exhale motion.
- Make your child lie on his back with his eyes closed and hands close to the body for 3-5 minutes. It will give total relaxation to the body.
We know that everyone has a different body and it is important to keep that in mind while trying out the above .