3 Ways to Help Children BLOOM During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Staying Active
By Emily Talas, Chair and Founder of BLOOM
The COVID-19 Pandemic has brought on many challenges in maintaining positive mental health among children. Staying inside and away from friends has posed many challenges for children’s emotional, social and physical well-being. We recognize that with limited resources and space, it is hard to find means in which children can stay active and energized. The BLOOM team has developed a list of ideas and resources that you can implement in order to foster an active space for children. Whether you’re a parent, guardian, sibling, teacher or professional, these tips can help you ensure that children are receiving an adequate amount of physical activity every day!
1. Get Outside!
Take advantage of the warm November month that we have been given and maximize your time spent outside with your child. Not only does being outside provide your child with the opportunity to move around in an open space but it also helps in improving sensory skills. By exploring the world around them, children will be able to use all of their five senses to discover new and exciting things in nature. Additionally, outdoor light stimulates a vital part of the brain that keeps our immune system strong and makes us feel happier, both of which are extremely important to maintain during these times.
2. Use Apps & Videos.
With the winter months quickly approaching, our outside time may be getting limited. By utilizing work out apps that are designed for children, you will be able to ensure that your child is staying active inside while also having fun. The great thing about these apps is that they are fun for children and adults, meaning that this could be a great opportunity for you to spend some one-on-one time with your child while having fun!
Here are some of our favourite apps/videos:
Go Noodle: https://www.gonoodle.com/
Cosmic Kids Yoga: https://www.youtube.com/user/CosmicKidsYoga
Fit Kids: https://fitkids.org/homeworkouts/
3. Make a Routine
Not only does creating a routine help develop structure for children but it can also help increase confidence, independence, greater self-control and exposure to healthy habits. Make sure to include a component of physical activity in your child’s schedule. Whether it be a dance party every Friday night or a bike ride after dinner, finding time to be physically active with your child will help
them both enjoy physical activity and understand the importance of making time to be active.
Quick Facts About Staying Active From the Government of Canada:
Children aged 5-11 should accumulate at least One hour of moderate to vigorous-intensity physical activity daily. But more is even better!
The health benefits of engaging in physical activity include:
Opportunities for socializing
Better academic scores
Stronger heart, bones and healthier muscles
Healthy growth and development
Better posture and balance
To achieve health benefits, children need to do both aerobic and strengthening activities. Aerobic activities result in faster breathing, a warmer feeling and an increased heart rate. Strengthening activities build muscles and bones.
After school is a great time to be physically active. Suggest activities other than TV/computer. Sign up for active programs, and if possible find active ways to get home from school. Make time to be active every day.