When you’re accustomed to an online working environment, it can be easy to forget to make time for physical activity and fitness. This can also apply to children who attend school virtually. If you’re looking to better prioritize physical exercise for your cyber school student, you’ve come to the right place. Encourage your child to get active and have fun with the variety of exercises in this article.
Exercise Challenges for Kids
It’s important that cyber students take short breaks to exercise and get moving throughout the day. Research has shown that physical activity can help improve academic performance because it boosts nerve cell growth in the hippocampus, the center of memory and learning. Additionally, improved motor skills are connected to better academic achievement, attitude, and cognitive skills.
If you’re looking for ways to integrate physical activity into your child’s daily routine, below are some active games and exercises to try out.
1. Jumping Jacks
Jumping jacks are a simple yet phenomenal exercise to work the lungs, heart, and muscles simultaneously. A jumping jack involves stretching the arms and legs out to the side like a starfish, then jumping. On the second jump, you bring the arms and legs back to the center upon landing. Encourage your child to do a few jumping jacks as part of their daily fitness routine, either indoors or outdoors.
2. Hula Hooping
Hula hooping is a great way to burn calories and body fat, boost cardiovascular health, work the core muscles, and improve balance. While classic hip hula hooping is always an excellent way to get moving, here are some other hula hoop exercises your child can try out:
- Hula hoop squats: Hold the hula hoop in front of you with both hands at an arm’s distance. Keeping legs shoulder-width apart, push your hips out and flex the knees down into a squatting position. Move back up into the starting position and repeat.
- Hula hoop Russian twists: Sit on the floor while holding the hula hoop in both hands. Flex the knees slightly and lift both legs. Lean back slightly and twist to the right with your hula hoop, then do the same on the left side and repeat. Younger kids may struggle with this exercise, but tweens and teens can certainly give it a try.
- Knee hooping: For a fun challenge, try traditional hula hooping with the knees instead of the hips!
3. Dance Party
Make your child’s five-minute exercise break extra fun by having a dance party. Dancing is a great way to improve coordination, flexibility, agility, muscle strength, and psychological wellbeing.
To have a successful dance party, start by clearing the space completely, whether it’s your living room, basement, or backyard. Put on some upbeat tunes, and let the dancing begin! This is an excellent way to let your child relax, de-stress, and unwind between classes or after a long school day. Invite their friends or family members to join in the fun as well.
4. Jumping Rope
If you’re looking for a fun fitness challenge for kids, jumping rope is a great way to improve coordination and focus, boost cardiovascular health, and strengthen muscles in the back, calves, and arms. Your child can practice jump roping on their own, or you can gather their friends for a group game of jump rope outdoors.
5. Outdoor Chores
While it may not be the first exercise that comes to mind for most, helping with outdoor chores is a great way to get your child moving. It can also teach your young one responsibility, self-reliance, hard work, and the importance of helping others. Here are some outdoor activities with which your child can assist:
- Raking leaves: Raking leaves is a great way for your child to spend time outdoors and get a breath of crisp autumn air. Equip them with a child-sized rake so they can help gather and bag leaves.
- Shoveling snow: When snow piles up the driveway, it’s ideal to recruit a helping hand. Shoveling snow is a great way for your child to assist with an outdoor chore, and it also exercises the upper and lower body muscles.
- Washing the car: For many, washing the car is a chore that needs to be done but often gets overlooked. While this chore may be slightly difficult for younger kids, tweens and teens can certainly help out.
- Helping in the garden: Whether it’s planting seeds, watering flowers, or pulling weeds, there are multiple ways your child can help out in the garden.
Incorporating stretching into your student’s daily routine is important to maintain strong, flexible, and healthy muscles. Encourage your child to set aside at least five minutes a day to do some stretches, whether after school or between classes. Here are some fun and easy stretches for kids to do:
- Knee lunges
- Butterfly stretches
- Cobra pose
- Child’s pose
- Downward facing dog
- Calf stretches
7. Capture the Flag
Capture the flag is a classic outdoor game to get your child moving. Kids enjoy this game because it’s strategic, friendly, and fun. Players are divided into two teams, and one flag is placed on each territory.
When the game begins, players try to cross into opposing territories. The goal is to capture the other team’s flag, then bring it back to their own side without being tagged by opponents. If a player is tagged, they may either be sent back to their own side, frozen in place, or placed in “jail” on the opposing team’s side. The game ends when one team has successfully captured and returned the other team’s flag to their own territory.
If you’re looking to incorporate this activity into your student’s day, consider organizing a game of capture the flag after school. Invite your child’s friends, neighbors, or any family members who may wish to join. This is a great way to get your student outdoors, active, and social.
Create a Well-Rounded, Flexible School Schedule With CCA
We hope these fun five-minute kids’ workouts help inspire your child’s daily fitness routine. At Commonwealth Charter Academy in Pennsylvania, we encourage physical activity and fitness for all K-12 students despite a virtual schooling environment.
CCA offers a wide range of elective courses, including language arts, social studies, math, foreign languages, and, of course, health and physical education. Our curriculum is constantly evolving, so every course and program is designed to provide students with the latest and most relevant subject matter content, meeting state and national standards.
Through our health and physical education courses, your child can develop skills in nutrition, exercise, sports, and coordination. To learn more about our physical education program or other classes, browse our course catalog or contact us with questions.