With schools closed until further notice, the world finds new ways to keep their children active this spring. Here, Happiful co-founder Aimi Maunders shares 10 great online activities to help keep your children fit during the temporary lockdown
As I write this article, the sun is shining, my children are bouncing on the trampoline in the garden and the birds are tweeting happily in the trees. I daydream off for a moment enjoying the peace at a soul level... but then my kids start kicking off, I jolt back to reality and remember we are in a national lockdown. Today we can enjoy the garden, but having checked the weather report for next week, I thought I had better research some online activity options.
Luckily, there are loads out there, so I have compiled some of the UK’s best offerings in the video below that can all be used as virtual PE lessons. You may even want to join in and shake that booty yourself.
1. PE with Joe
Lovely London based Joe Wicks (aka The Body Coach) is live on YouTube every morning at 9am from Monday to Friday. He is offering a daily 30 minute PE lesson until the schools reopen, with the goal of being the nation’s PE teacher. So far he has had millions of families joining him. We too have joined him every morning since Monday, although I have had to reign it in a bit, as after two days my calves felt like they had been trodden on by an elephant... My husband is very enthusiastic about this one and my eldest daughter thinks it’s a cool way to start her day. Thank you Joe for giving up time every morning to help support our kids!
😀 PE WITH JOE starting Monday morning at 9am on my YOUTUBE channel: The Body Coach TV 📺 Please please share this with as many people as you can ❤️ Our kids need this more than ever. Share it on your stories, your wall, your Twitter, whatsapp and school newsletters ❤️ pic.twitter.com/ioFGeFRpuK— The Body Coach (@thebodycoach) March 19, 2020
2. Cosmic Kids Yoga
Join Jamie on YouTube to offer your kids a chance to learn yoga and mindfulness within an adventure story or guided relaxation. Some of their most popular videos such as Frozen, Moana and Trolls have had millions of views and with hundreds of videos to choose from, hopefully, there is something for everyone. Cosmic Kids Yoga is used in schools all over the UK and videos range from short stories for nursery-aged children, to full length 30 minute adventures for older kids. My children really love this one, their favourite is Princess Poppy in the Trolls Adventure.
3. Just Dance
I only realised this week that Just Dance is available on YouTube for free. We have a Nintendo Switch but my seven year old knows how to use it better than me and we don’t currently have the unlimited version. On their YouTube channel, you can access many of the unlimited videos without having to pay for them. You obviously can’t win stars because you don’t hold the controllers, but in all honesty, this is better for us because my kids have a meltdown if I beat them! My favourite video ‘Waka Waka this time for Africa’ has had over 10 million views. A great PE session for the whole family.
4. Andy’s Wild Workouts
For all you CBeebies fans, Andy Day has a series on YouTube for younger children called Andy’s Wild Workouts. Each video follows a different theme such as a beach or rainforest adventure. Videos are informative and educational, as well as active and only last about six minutes, so good for a quick burst. This series is also available on BBC iPlayer.
5. BBC Teach Supermovers
Supermovers is a great resource recommended by schools and has loads of videos that combine education with exercise. There are options for KS1 and KS2 with easy to follow activities covering topics such as number bonds, times tables and division for Maths, and grammar, spelling and punctuation for English. They also have some Science and Language exercise videos and a Supermovers Champions section to help older children develop confidence, teamwork and leadership skills. A great way to continue your child’s learning while also having a PE lesson.
Another resource used in classrooms and recommended by schools is iMoves.com. Their content is made by teachers and they have over 1,200 lessons to choose from. They are offering a 14-day free trial at the moment and have also created a free section called The iMovement. This section is updated daily with new activities for both KS1 and KS2 children, it includes free Quick Blast videos such as Samba and Disco, and a Mental Health and Wellbeing section with guided meditations, pilates and a worry monster activity. They also have a nice activity timetable you can print off for your child to complete.
GoNoodle is another resource recommended by schools and used in classrooms. They claim they help 14 million kids every month with movement and mindfulness videos that are created by child development experts. They have 19 different channels, including exercise channels such as Zumba Kids, Net Generation and Koo Koo Kangeroo. The videos are really fun and vibrant and a great way to hold kids attention whilst being active. If you don’t want to sign up, check out their YouTube channel where you can access lots of their videos. They have also created a free game-based app, available on the App Store.
8. Zumba Kids
Zumba has been sweeping the nation for years and now there are loads of online Zumba Kids videos for children to follow along at home. GoNoodle has a whole section for Zumba Kids with 20 videos to choose from, the videos are fun to watch, energetic and lots of them are hosted by children. You do need to sign-in to GoNoodle to access these free videos, while there is also a really good Zumba Kids playlist on YouTube that you can stick on your TV and let the kids follow along.
9. Koo Koo Kangeroo
Koo Koo Kangeroo are an American comedic dance-pop duo called Bryan and Neil. They have created a range of kids fitness videos that are really fun and silly. Their Dinosaur Stomp video has had over 18 million views on YouTube which is pretty impressive. It’s another fun, active way to get your kids off the sofa and burning some energy. GoNoodle hosts their channel, so if you have an account you can easily see all their videos.
10. Les Mills Born to Move
Les Mills is a fitness program used in gyms all over the UK including Anytime Fitness and David Lloyd. Gyms are all closed at the moment, but they have a fantastic range online for both adults and children and are offering a 14-day free trial. The Born to Move section (click ‘Try at Home’ link) has nearly 100 videos aimed at different age groups, from 4-5 years up to 13-16 years. My personal favourite is the Move like the Avengers video, I think this is awesome and my children loved it. Lots of their videos are also available free on their YouTube channel.