Keeping fit should be a priority in all of our lives as well as our kids. However, it like so many other things are hard to fit into your schedule. Especially at the moment, it’s tricky to get the whole family moving. That’s why we at Monkeynastix have come up with ways to get active, be healthier and have fun at the same time. We love fitness fun.
We at Monkeynastix have some great stretch positions which your kids can do to stretch out their bodies. Practice these whilst taking in deep breaths and exhaling slowly. Stretching is a nice way to start off any activity and get kids bodies all warmed up. See the picture attached with a variety of different Monkeynastix sits and positions.
DIY Parachute- Fitness Fun
This is one of the kids favourite lessons at Monkeynastix and always leads to lots of giggles and fitness fun. Most families will not have their own parachute at home, but you can make your own using a sheet, tablecloth or duvet cover.
If you have small plastic balls then that will be great, otherwise, you can use balloons or rolled up balls of scrap paper, newspaper or magazines.
o Start off by holding the parachute with two hands, spread yourself and children equally around the parachute.
o You could play music and every time the music stops; you must sit down as fast as you can.
o Run around in circles and do different animal walks whilst holding the parachute. Walk like an elephant, hop like a rabbit or frog, etc.
o Sit down and hold the parachute and roll it up and scoot forward as you roll. Then unroll it and scoot backwards.
o Whilst sitting pass the parachute around in a circle whilst playing music, each time the music stops you change the direction. Play it as if the parachute was a hot potato and you must pass it around quickly.
o Make popcorn: Using the balls or makeshift balls, pretend that you’re going to make popcorn and the parachute is the pot. Everyone holds the parachute tight. First, we spray a bit of oil (just pretend) and then we pour in the balls (pop-corn kernels), switch on the stove (pretend of course) and as it gets hotter, the pot starts to shake. So, you shake the parachute slowly at first, getting faster and faster, until the balls are flying all over the place. It’s so much fun and always a sure way to get the kids burning energy and having a blast.
o Washing machine: Ask your children to sit under the parachute. You will need at least one other person to help you hold the parachute. Pretend that you’re going to wash them. Pretend to sprinkle in some washing powder and turn on the machine, start walking around in a circle with the parachute touching the top of their heads. Then as the machines gets faster, you start to shake the parachute fast “washing the children underneath.” Lastly, you dry them by lifting the parachute up high and then fast downwards over the kids.
Dancing is a sure way to break a sweat and have a blast. Turn up the music, clear some space and have some fun. You can play some easy games such as musical bumps, statues or chairs for added fun.
Dance Workout With ‘Weights’
Have fun and get dancing to music with weights. We have done a short video with some easy ideas of exercises to do to music using “weights.” When we refer to weights, we obviously do not mean big heavy weights, but instead some simple household items such as toilet rolls, shoes, water bottles, or anything your kids can hold in their hands easily.
In our video, we have used a variance of different objects that can be used as “weights” at home. You’re welcome to join in and copy us in our video or create your own. Turn on your kids favourite songs and do an aerobics type workout to the music.
Incorporate different exercises into the routine such as sit-ups, squats, lunges, jumps, hops, jumping jacks, stretches, get up and down, side lunges, swinging arms, lifting arms in different ways using the “weights”, pushups, burpees and whatever other exercises you can think of.
This is a sure way to break a sweat, burn some energy and have a fabulous time. P.S – Parents, this is quite a workout for you too.
Movement, fitness fun and being active is only one part of this equation, it is equally important that we continue to teach and impart healthy habits on our children. It’s essential to get your child into healthy living habits from an early age. At Monkeynastix we emphasise the following healthy living habits in our lessons and encourage you to do the same at home:
- Emotional intelligence (e.g. respect for yourself and others)
- Social skills and manners (e.g. “Please” and “Thank you”)
- Environmental awareness (e.g. waiting your turn)
- Healthy habits (e.g. brushing teeth, sun protection, hygiene)
- Healthy eating habits (a balanced diet)
It’s important to remember that being healthy does not only mean eating healthy and taking care of only our body but our minds too. Now is the time to teach our children these healthy life skills. Teach them to have respect for other people and for themselves. As well as teach them to have manners and to greet people. Move out the way for people and offer their seat to elders. Such simple habits which have been forgotten by many in our modern world.
Eating healthy and having a balanced diet is also part of the healthy habits we need to teach our children. This is something that I find the most difficult because I can very rarely say no to a sweet treat of any form. I way prefer pasta to salad.
However, teaching our children to make healthy food choices from an early age is a valuable skill that they can carry with them for the rest of their lives. So many food items which we perceive to be healthy are in fact loaded with sugar, simple things such as some of the flavoured yoghurts or fruit juices. It’s important that we try our best to limit the amount of sugar our children have daily. Although, there is, of course, a place for sweets and yummies in life – all things in moderation.
We need to focus on a balanced and healthy lifestyle and not a “diet” in which we starve or deprive our children of things. I’ve shared below some links to a couple of healthy recipes for some tasty treats which are both yummy and healthier than the normal sweet treats we are used to. Baking with your children is definitely messier and takes a lot more time, but it is a great skill to teach them how to bake and cook as well as encouraging them to clean up afterwards. On top of that, its super fun to get in the kitchen with our kids, turn on the music and have some fun!
- Banana split pops: www.delish.com
- Doughnut apples: www.delish.com
- Toddler muffins: www.theworktop.com
- Healthy kids muffins: www.feelgoodfoodie.net
- 17 different healthy muffin ideas – sweet and savoury: www.kidspot.com.au
- 3 ingredient banana pancakes: www.cleaneatingwithkids.com
I hope that these ideas have been helpful. If you enjoyed this article don’t forget to look at the other article below.
One last thing, if lockdown has taught us something it’s to live more, worry less and keep moving!