Keeping children active at home

As we see how the next few weeks and months play out, more and more of us will be working and playing from home.  The Easter holidays and potential school closure may mean the children are confined to the house for much of their day.  TV, iPads and gaming have their place, but for health, both physical and mental, keeping active is essential for everyone in the household.

What can you do?

You don’t have to be a specialist teacher or sports coach to try out fun fitness activities and games at home and use the extra time to let children play.  In our next blog, we will be sharing some easy physical activities you can undertake with your children.

In today’s blog, we are looking at getting outside.  If you have a garden, it’s an ideal opportunity to get out and spend some time in nature.   It doesn’t matter how big or small your outside space is, you may not even have an outdoor area but if you keep a distance from others, working on the front pathway or communal gardens can be just as practical.  Getting your hands dirty with the children helps pass the time and brings a host of benefits such as;

  • Stress relief
  • Improved immune system
  • Sensory stimulation
  • Living in the moment
  • Eating in a more healthful way
  • Vitamin D production from sunlight

What can you do in your garden?

Spring is finally in the air, so making the best of being at home by getting outside.   We have put together a list of ideas of things you can do in the garden with your children, or just for yourself!  Here at The PE Hub, we are now working from home so will be trying out some of these activities with you!

  1. Tidy the patio – it’s been a long winter and sweeping and clearing away clutter from last year will give you space and a sense of satisfaction.
  2. Paint plant pots – the children will love this and will give them some time to get creative with designs and colours.
  3. Plant herbs – Many herbs can be bought at the supermarket and online and is a great way to give children an understanding of where food comes from.
  4. Hang an insect feeder – Bees and butterflies are on the decline and are essential for the biodiversity of the planet, give them a helping hand with one of these attractive homes.
  5. Plant window boxes – This is great if you do not have a big garden or no garden at all some of the best plants are strawberries, chillies, tomatoes, annuals and tender perennials.
  6. Clean patio furniture – A bucket of warm soapy water and some sponges to bring the furniture back to life.  Old furniture can be spruced up with blankets and pillows.
  7. Decorate the garden – Add bunting, candles and windmills to give the garden a playful feel that children will enjoy.
  8. Make a still pool – Find any watertight container, not too deep and place in flower beds between plants, this is great for birds and other wildlife and looks pretty also.
  9. Water painting – For younger children give them a paintbrush a bucket of water, and they will spend hours ‘painting’ wooden fences and sheds.
  10. Build a scarecrow – Using things you find around the house and in the shed or garage can you make a scarecrow?  It doesn’t need to be big, but it will be lots of fun.

Still got time on your hands?  Why not try out this fun garden game.

Equipment

Different sized plastic plant pots.

Vocabulary

Build, stack, tower, tall, next, before, after, size, big, small, large, narrow, wide, on top.

Skills developed

Coordination, fine motor skills, balance, decision making, spatial awareness.

How to play

On the lawn or any open space lay out a selection of plastic plant pots.  Run through the variations below

  • Order the pots in a line by size
  • Play the memory game by placing objects under the pots
  • Stack the pots inside one another by size
  • Set the pots out as a target and try and throw a small ball or beanbag
  • Set the pots out in a line or a pyramid and score points by hitting them

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