I live in South Carolina, and lately it has been very, very wet around here. And since my four young children do not particularly like sitting still, my 1700-square-foot home has been extremely noisy. That makes homeschooling challenging because, with so much pent-up energy, my school-age daughters have had a difficult time focusing. Sometimes, we just need to do some activities to keep us going.
Physical activity is important to mental health. My brain, like the brains of my four children, performs much better when we’ve had some kind of physical exercise. Below are ideas for some quick physical activities that you and your children can do together. Not only will they help you release some of that built-up energy, but they will also improve your focus for a better homeschool day.
Technology can be a great help for quick, kid-friendly workout routines. Here are a few technology-aided workouts that we enjoy:
- Animal Workouts (Alexa® Skill): If you have an Alexa-enabled device in your home, try the Animal Workouts Skill. Your device will lead you and your children through a routine in which you all pretend to be different animals. For example, you’ll be running in place like a jaguar, swinging your arms like a monkey, and hopping around like a kangaroo. My kids think it’s hilarious.
- Home Workout (available on Google Play™): This app is geared more toward adults, but my fitness-loving second grader doesn’t let that stop her from using it. Most workouts take less than 15 minutes, but they are pretty intense.
- Sworkit Kids (available on Google Play™): This app is similar to the Home Workout app but is more geared towards kids. I like that you can customize the workout based on how much time you have.
Some days, the kids just need to get outside, even if it’s raining or freezing cold. Here are a few of our favorite fresh-air exercises:
- Taking a walk: Walking is a popular exercise in our family. If you enjoy walking with your kids, you may want to check out a post I wrote about how walking can also be an outdoor learning adventure.
- Running around the house: Sometimes, when I notice that one of my daughters is having trouble concentrating, I send her outside and tell her to run around the house a certain number of times as fast as she can. It’s amazing what five minutes of running can do to sharpen her focus!
- Timed races: Like many kids, my daughters are a bit competitive. They love to “win” even if they are competing against themselves. I often time them as they run down the driveway, race their bikes around the block, or roller skate to the mailbox. The presence of the stopwatch encourages them to try their hardest.
- Puddle-jumping: Every once in awhile, after it rains, the kids pull on their rain boots, and we take a walk. The kids jump in ever puddle they can find and hold contests to see who can make the biggest splash. It’s a good mental and physical break for everyone.
These are just a few of the ways that we release energy to improve our focus. What are some of your homeschool’s favorite energy-busting activities? We would love to hear about them in the comments below!