With schools across the UK closed until further notice, parents across the country now have the task of keeping their children entertained during this indefinite school holiday. With the UK being on lockdown and social distancing, many restaurants, activity centres and leisure centres across the country are closed. However, there still are some safe ways to keep your little ones entertained.
1) An indoor HIIT - perfect for a rainy day!
HIIT stands for High-Intensity Interval Training and it’s a brilliant way to burn loads of energy in 20 minutes, at home, in a small space, with no extra equipment. Winner! Plus, this is a really great excuse for them to let loose! Simply pick a few activities (five is a good number), such as star jumps, running up and down the bottom step, sprinting on the spot, push-ups and burpees, stick some music on, and do each in turn for 30 seconds as fast as possible, before having a 30-second break in-between each exercise.
Then repeat that four or five times, and voila! There are also some great HIITs on YouTube which kids can follow, or simply make up their own through crazy dance moves or whatever they fancy.
2) Build a fort
If we’re honest, even as adults, the thought of building a fort is still pretty exciting! Perfect for a rainy day and without causing (too much) chaos, it’s a great way for kids to use their imaginations and play a variety of games which will put both mind and body to good use.
3) Grow learning through music
Tik Tok videos and the Baby Shark theme tune may be on a constant loop in your household. But there are loads of benefits of music when it comes to preparing your child for the big world. For one, music can help improve your child’s brain power and memory functions, improve literacy and numeracy skills and ultimately build confidence and self- belief.
Some cool ideas to help your child find their groove could be singing bedtime stories to them before they sleep, teaching them songs to add to their routines such as brushing their team and even creating a music trivia game and acting out the answers.
4) Maintain a routine
While having to spend an entire day in the house it can be hard for families to maintain a routine when spending the whole day in the house - things quickly become unstructured.
Setting out a plan or timetable with some flexibility is a really good way to structure your children’s days. Ensuring that children maintain a routine throughout the coming weeks and months will be vital and will also make the transition back to school easier when they open again.
5) Stay active
According to the NHS children and teenagers need to do at least 2 forms of activity to stay healthy. "Aim for an average of at least 60 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity a day across the week," they say. Spend an hour doing some sort of exercise, such as running, jumping, crafting or cooking. Giving kids the power to choose this activity is also important. Exercise is important as it can lead to healthy skin, muscles and bones.
6) Going outside
Simply going for a stroll in your nearest park and getting some fresh air is the easiest way to keep everyone in the house active.. Chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty advised that this can definitely be done under the current guidelines. "It’s very important that both children and adults take exercise and enjoy themselves as much as they can. Being outside in the park is a very good thing to do, and taking exercise is always a good thing to do”. The key thing is to avoid close social contact and keep to the social distancing government guidelines.
7) Go online for ideas
If you’ve completed everything on your checklist and you are stuck for ideas, Sport England has some great advice on how to keep active while at home. It now includes resources on workouts you can do indoors with your children. They also have links to games and activities for indoor play that means kids will be up and moving throughout the day.