Helping kids stay active while learning at home

Published: Jan. 4, 2021 at 7:01 PM EST
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Children learning remotely may not be getting as much exercise as they do at school, without recess and gym class. In this week’s Medical Monday, Kathy McCarty has more on how parents can help children stay active.

With the transition to remote learning, it’s more important than every to incorporate physical activity into your child’s daily routine.

“Taking these movement breaks will help overall engagement with their schooling, as well as improve their mood and overall health. These breaks don’t have to be anything super time consuming. They could be a couple minutes, or last up to 15 minutes, depending on what your child needs,” says Katelyn Michaud, a Physical Therapist, DPT, with Northern Light A.R. Gould Hospital.

Physical Therapist Katelyn Michaud says it’s important activities reflect your child’s interests and skill level, to ensure they’re engaged in the activity.

Michaud says, “Including activities like hopping, skipping, and standing on one leg are all appropriate skills for children over the age of five. In addition, there are tons of online resources that you can use to provide some new things, new activities for your kids. I know myself, I like to use some YouTube videos to kind of guide me through activities, so children that are really involved with technology, they might enjoy that as well.”

Not all children develop at the same rate, so it’s a matter of tailoring activities to each child. For older children interested in sports, she says you could have them practice their skills.

“If your child isn’t interested in sports specifically, you could always tie in other interests too. I know sometimes we’ll pretend play with like planets and pretend you’re a spaceship, pretend you’re animals, that kind of stuff. As they get older, it’s certainly harder to make sure they’re active. And that’s where creativity really comes in and using your resources around the house,” says Michaud.

Michaud says it’s not a structured thing. Children do their own playtime activities, but in a roundabout way you’re still getting what you want and what teachers might want too - for kids to be up and active. Kathy McCarty, NewsSource 8

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