There’s no denying that bunking down at home is throwing our usual routines out the window, and challenging Australian families in ways we’ve never experienced before. This is especially true if you’re in a household with little ones needing constant entertainment and stimulation. To help, we’ve compiled a few handy tips that can keep your family active and feeling more balanced throughout lockdown:
Set time for daily exercise
Establishing some semblance of a routine is more important than ever right now. By allocating a daily time to exercise, you’ll give your family much needed structure and most likely something to look forward to during lockdown! Be mindful of lockdown restrictions that impact your area, and get familiar with local parks, bike paths and walking tracks to make the most of your time outdoors.
Invest in outdoor play equipment
Considering how highly energised they always are, it will come as no surprise that children need on average an hour’s worth of vigorous exercise each day to stay healthy. Having access to their own sporting or outdoor play equipment is a failsafe that can encourage your kids to keep moving, whilst engaging their imaginations.
Investing in a good trampoline or a kids outdoor swing set is a worthwhile addition for any Aussie backyard, especially when access to public playgrounds may be limited or controlled due to lockdown restrictions.
Organise a ‘staycay’ at home
By this point, most of us have had at least one holiday, celebration, or family activity cancelled due to lockdown restrictions. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t create the same feelings of excitement and anticipation from your very own backyard.
Organising a ‘staycation’, such as camping in the backyard, can allow your kids to get involved in planning as though you were going on a real trip together. Build a fort under the stars, bring your old camping tent out of storage, or roast some marshmallows over a backyard fire pit if local regulations allow. Let imagination be your guides!
Recreate the Olympics at your place
Similarly, creating family friendly ‘Olympics’ or ‘Survivor’ inspired obstacles courses can help break the monotony of lockdown. Use equipment or furniture you already have at home to create a series of competitions, and countdown to different ‘events’ to give your family something to look forward to. You can even encourage your little ones to ‘train’ for any upcoming ‘competitions’ your family may dream up together!
Walk, ride, skate, and run
COVID-safe forms of exercise are still encouraged even within the current restrictions, so keeping these outings fun and varied is something to strive for. Choosing to bring along kids bikes, scooters or skateboards is an easy way to ‘level up’ your walks, as not all children are capable of long walks or runs.
Even if you choose to walk yourself, encouraging your child to cycle means they can ride up ahead and double back to you. Riding a bike is a skill every kid should learn, and an activity that offers many physical and mental health benefits at every age.
Keeping your family active and engaged is important amidst the current uncertainty, but it doesn’t have to feel like a chore. Remember, there’s light at the end of the tunnel, so have some fun along the way. Good luck!