The COVID-19 pandemic has altered our lives in countless ways and has presented us with new challenges. Now more than ever it is important to find effective ways to cope, especially for young children. In an instant, kids’ daily routines were thrown out the door. Instead of spending a large portion of their time at school socializing and collaborating with others, they now spend most of their time alone at home sitting in front of a computer.
During the pandemic children’s lives have been affected on a social, emotional and physical level. At The Big Assist Foundation, we believe that physical activity helps children with mental health and better sleep patterns. When playing team sports children gain not only social skills but also good sportsmanship. And when we get moving, we gain stronger bones and a healthier outlook on life!
Here are four easy ways to get your child moving and motivated:
Encourage daily family walks
No need to make your children run miles, but a simple walk will do the trick! Studies have shown that when a child incorporates a mile, walking or running, into their daily routine, their concentration levels improve as well as their emotional and physical health. You might need to get creative because a simple walk might not sound intriguing to your child. Here are some ideas:
- If you have a dog, bring it along, or maybe bring a dog from the neighborhood that you can walk with your child.
- Invite friends and enjoy a safe social distanced walk.
- Grab a helmet and bring your child’s bike or scooter.
- Maybe they get to make a special snack when you get home!
Games are not only amusing but can also be used to ensure your child is in good mental and physical health. Here are some simple ideas:
- Whoever is ready for school first gets to choose what is for dinner.
- Whoever gets to bed first for a whole week gets to choose a fun weekend outing.
- As parents of older kids, you know how hard it can be to get them to open up to you, so a dinner time game is a great idea! Fill up a bowl with cards that have questions on them, like “What was the best and worst thing about your day?” or “Any plans for the weekend?” Try implementing questions that will get your child’s mind flowing.
Limit screen time
We understand that the blue lights and screens are the keystone to our society’s operation, but we also strive to help our community not overuse them. Here are some healthy ways to not overuse our screens:
- Every 30 minutes either run around outside, stretch in the open fresh air, play a game or simply grab a healthy snack.
- If we can make screens a priority, we can make healthy usage and breaks a priority too!
- We have lived through real quarantines, so now should not be the time to waste more time inside on computers when there is a whole world we can enter back into safely.
Being in L.A., we are beyond fortunate to have amazing weather year-round. There is no excuse to encourage our children to only have enjoyment while cooped up inside. Instead, if your child is having a friend over, encourage them to be outdoors. A few ways to get outdoors might include:
- Have a picnic.
- Play outdoor sports games like spike ball, football, etc.
- Spend some time at the park—you could even do a picnic here!
- Head to the beach and get some vitamin D.
The list could truly go on forever, but these are some of the most crucial reasons as to why The Big Assist Foundation wants to promote physical activity. Please follow our Instagram and Facebook to find out about children and family friendly fitness events for charity all held in L.A.! If you are looking for specific workout tutorials, please DM us or watch our TikTok videos. It’s time for us to unite, get moving and help those who need it the most.
Alexa Goldwasser is one of the teen founders of L.A. based nonprofit, The Big Assist Foundation.