Tag Archives forhealthy

Staying active with the kiddos while “Social Distancing”

Kids as well as adults are struggling during this time to find creative ways to stay active while social distancing. Families need to stay active for a variety of reasons from clearing their minds to moving their bodies to stay heart-healthy.

I have an active 8 year old ADHD child that never sits still. This pandemic has been tough on our family because of the stay at home order and the social distancing aspect (believe me I understand and agree with the mandate, but it’s been challenging on everyone to say the least). My son is used to hanging out with other kids at the park, playing soccer every Saturday and socializing with peers at school. I asked him if an obstacle course would be a fun thing to do both inside and outside. His answer was “of course mom, let’s do it!”

Using different items around your house makes for an inexpensive and creative family fun event. Be silly, laugh and spend some quality time together creating positive memories together. It’s good for the soul!

Obstacle courses can be designed for indoor and outdoor play. Use different themes to create a course with your child’s specific interests and abilities in mind. Help him/her be involved in the planning and set up/clean-up process. You can create a simple or elaborate obstacle course depending on the age(s) and mobility strengths/weaknesses. You can create modified wheelchair options as well. Use cones or a laundry basket to create a goal if you have them. You might try using blue non adhesive tape/ sidewalk chalk to create the “course” lines or stations.

You can determine if the obstacle course will be “timed” to track the winner scores or you can have them play for fun. You can offer small prizes, a certificate of participation or an incentive to the winner(s) if desired.

Here are a few ideas to get you started on building an indoor or outdoor obstacle course for kids:

  • Crawl under a string stretched between two chair legs or use pool noodles
  • Jump into and out of a Hula-Hoop five times
  • Balloon Volleyball
  • Walk or sit on a balance board
  • Use Nerf guns or water guns to shoot into a bucket or a basket. It is fun to line up Duplo Legos or mini figures and try to knock them down. A child can lay on their stomach on the floor or a mat to make the “aim” more challenging.
  • Create a fun bubble blowing station
  • Slime or sensory bucket station
  • Throw beanbags into a laundry basket or you can use multiple size and shape buckets and at different heights
  • Run while balancing a beanbag on your head
  • Line walking or crab crawls
  • Jump over pool noodles both high and low. Use as a hurdle
  • Hop scotch
  • Dance in place for 1-2 minutes (adding music would be ideal)
  • Hula hoop for 20-60 seconds or more
  • Line walking. Use zig- zag lines to make it more difficult. Walking backwards (use sidewalk chalk or blue tape to create the path)
  • Run in place
  • Hop on one foot then the other
  • Frisbee throw (outside)
  • Kids Yoga poses for 1-2 minutes
  • Crawl under or over a row of chairs
  • Play tic tack toe on a board or make one with nonstick tape or sidewalk chalk outside
  • Exercise ball push-ups, bouncing sequences or balancing activities
  • Do a ring toss
  • Kick rolled up socks into a laundry basket to make a goal
  • Ride a tricycle/ bike or board scooter along a predetermined route outside. Zig-zag or backwards can be fun too on a board scooter.
  • Somersault from one point to another
  • A kid tunnel can be used in multiple ways which can be a ton of fun for little ones
  • Skip in place while reciting a jump rope rhyme
  • There are lots of water play course options to consider if the weather is conducive outside

The point is to have fun. I would love to hear your ideas and amazing stories. Feel free to share!

Living “In the Moment” is a Challenge I know…

Living “In the Moment” is a Challenge I know…

I struggle as much as the next person to be present in THE moment. Mindful of the Here and Now. I get it! It’s tough with the advancement of technology, and the ever-present cell phone glued to our hips. Smart Phones, laptops, book readers, gaming devices, notebooks, I-Pads… You get the picture.

Have you ever mistakenly forgotten your cell phone and then half way to the office you had to drive back home? It is that sudden, heart racing, gut wrenching feeling that you may miss something really important (the latest social media update- kidding of course!) client call or even that emergency phone call from your child’s school? I know, I have been there more times than I can count.

What surprises me the most is the vast number of people who have a digital device plastered to their face while driving, walking, sitting, eating and YES even hiking. I am often blown away with the lack of authentic human connection that we all seem to have, even when another person is looking at us from across the counter or sitting beside us at the same table at lunch.

Earlier in my week I decided to detach from my many tech devices so I could get moving outdoors! My goal was to take a scenic nature hike close to home, so that I could “UN-plug” from the world over my lunch break. My intent was to leave my cell phone in the car, but to my surprise I couldn’t bring myself to do it, in fear that there would be an emergency and I would need it. I decided to keep it in my backpack so I could focus on the mountains, wild life and any beauty that I stumbled upon.

To my amazement I could not find ONE single person that did not have a cell phone in hand or were not glued to their mobile device while hiking (I must have come across over 75-100 people during my observation). One person almost walked off the side of the mountain because they were not focusing on the path directly in front of them. How often do we do this in life? Could it be forgetting to be “in the moment” at the checkout counter and not acknowledging the cashier in front of us with a simple hello, or by failing to unplug when your spouse or child needs you in some way? Guilty as charged for me too! Instead of saying, ” just a minute” to my child when I am busy on my device, I want to be more present to provide that instant human connection so that he knows he IS valued and what he says IS important to me. I am a constant work in progress.

My observation taught me that I want to be more aware of the precious human connections around me, and to strive to live “in the present moment” more each day. I discovered I want to take steps to be more mindful by making eye contact with strangers, giving more smiles, offering kind gestures and providing more genuine compliments. Kindness if free people!

How can we all be more present in our daily lives? I would love to hear your suggestions.