My name is Brittany Smith and I am a mama, local JC business owner, pediatric occupational therapist, and a health freak! While loading up on my vitamin C and wine, I am trying to keep up with my 3.5 year and my almost 2 month old. Preschool was my time to get work done and spend time with the new baby; it was also to tire out that energetic little man of mine! With schools and stores being closed, us moms are basically left for dead. I can imagine my toddler is not the only one that is bouncing off of the walls at this point so I have been trying to whip out some of my old occupational therapy tricks on him… aka heavy work to help calm his sensory system (occupational therapy terms!).
I try to keep him outside for at least 30-60 minutes each day to take a walk or have races since the parks are closed. Daily physical activity is encouraged for physical, cognitive, and emotional purposes; just like working out gives adults endorphins, physical activity gives children endorphins as well! Endorphins help make us happy and reduce stress… something that everyone needs now-a-days! Here are some activities that your kiddos can engage in to help get that energy out for these next couple weeks. Give them a little break in-between doing school work! Their concentration/attention will be better and their stress levels will go down, as well.
Jump Ahead Pediatrics is regularly posting activities for families – check out their Instagram for any new ideas!
Animal walks (bear walks, snake walks, wheelbarrow walks, crab walks)
Obstacle courses (over/under chairs, climbing on couch cushions that are set on an angle to get up to the couch, tunnel, jumping over obstacles)
Get outside! (the cold won’t hurt them… bundle up and walk!)
Stop playing senseless games on electronics and download a kids yoga app or a cardio app (Super stretch, sworkit kids)
Massages (get out that lavender essential oil, mix 1 drop with coconut oil and massage away!)
“Tug of war” or “push of war” with rope and/or gym resistance bands
Wall push ups (have a contest amongst siblings or with parents! You’d be surprised how tired you get after just a few!)
Arm wrestle with a caregiver
Pillow fights (parents vs kids!)
(My favorite one… can be paired with a glass of wine for mama!) Give yourself a break and have the kids help with house-work! Housework can be great for heavy work and you’ll get some time to do work or just relax! (Vacuum, carry groceries, mopping, sweeping)
Have a family workout using gym equipment at home such as large exercise ball (throw it, push on it with resistance), weighted balls (roll them, throw them, put them in a container) or light weights (1-5 lbs depending on the child’s size/age; light them, move them)