Children love to move—anywhere, anytime! Physical activity is great for growing bodies and minds. Being active together helps channel kids’ energy and keeps them healthy and strong. Plus, movement can help us—kids and grown-ups—calm down and relieve stress. Consider these ideas to get moving every day!
– Grover’s Playground Workout –
Launch Grover's Playground Workout
Play the game and invite kids to move along with each Muppet! The whole family can join in the fun, too, even from afar.
Take advantage of technology with this interactive and other interactives on Sesame Street in Communities: Open a video chat with family or friends and share your screen to show the game to everyone on the call. Take turns picking a character and then do the moves together!
– Move Along With Elmo –
Watch the video together and move along! Then play the video again. Turn down the volume and sing on your own, substituting kids’ names for “Elmo” (“________’s got the moves”). Encourage kids to sing along and use other names in the song—yours, a friend’s, a sibling’s, or names of other Sesame characters. (For groups, add a rule: when one child’s name is called out, it’s his time for a dance solo, then it’s his turn to call someone out next.)
Sing the song whenever you want to help kids channel extra energy! Try replacing some of Elmo’s moves (and words) with your own favorites (for instance, instead of a “wiggle and a jump,” try a “hop and a shimmy”).
Remember that you can get moving to any song. Consider making a “family favorites” playlist and invite kids to take turns playing DJ or radio host. Family members can “call in” to request favorites or give shout outs.
– Breathe, Balance, Bend –
Our bodies need exercise, but they need downtime, too. Breathing, balancing, and bending give children (and adults!) a chance to rest their bodies and relax their minds.
Breathing deeply and slowly is a calming strategy for anytime, anywhere.
- Ask children to place their hands over their mouths and feel their breath. Together, breathe quickly, then slowly, and ask children to compare how each breath feels in their hands.
- Then ask children to pretend their bellies are balloons. Encourage them to take long and deep breaths to fill the balloons with air, then breathe out through their mouths to let the air out.
Balancing helps kids focus and relax while building strength and coordination.
- Lay down a piece of string or tape on the ground for a “balance beam”! You can make the beam wide for an easier version of the game and narrower for a challenge.
- Use your imagination. For instance, you might pretend that the beam is high up in the air or over a rocky river—be careful not to fall!
Bending and stretching helps children become more flexible…and it feels great!
- Ask kids to bend and stretch their whole bodies—from their head to their toes.
- Give clear directions, starting with the head. (Nod it “yes” and shake it “no.” Next, roll the shoulders, twist the stomach, bend at the hips, and so on.) Get creative, and do more of the things that feel good!
– Out and About, Safely –
Social distancing means staying a safe distance away from other people to protect them and ourselves from germs. The CDC recommends that we keep at least six feet between people. Ideally, families should stay home, limit outings, and avoid physical contact with non-family members.
But staying inside most of the time might have us feeling a little stir-crazy! Fortunately there are ways to safely get a little fresh air. Consider these ideas:
- Play in your yard. If you have a front or back-yard, that’s great! Kids can run around to get some energy out and enjoy the outdoors. You may be tempted to go to a public park, but it’s really important to avoid public play equipment, because COVID-19 germs can linger there.
- Walk the dog. Walks around the neighborhood are okay, but avoid touching surfaces or getting too close to other people.
- Ride your bike or hike in nature. Go on a family bike ride or nature walk. Set some ground rules for touching objects and getting too close to others.
- Virtual play dates. Right now it’s best to not have friends over or meet up for play dates in person. Social media platforms and video calls make virtual playdates simple. Children can talk, play, and laugh together without being in the same room.
Bringing and using hand sanitizer when you’re out and about is a good idea. And remember to wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds after any outing!