Join us online for backyard interactive activities that get kids moving in the safety of their own home or neighborhood. Different family fun activities will be provided throughout the week. Here’s what we have planned:
Go bird hunting in the yard for 30 minutes in the morning and 30 minutes in the evening. Do two jumping jacks every time you see a bird! How many different kinds can you spot? How many jumping jacks did you do? Take a picture of your favorite, and post it with your total number of jumping jacks.
Active SWV, in partnership with the National Parks Service, will also be hosting a virtual birding event June 22nd-28th. Go to the Facebook event page for more info, and to see educational posts about birds shared throughout the week.
Go on a scavenger hunt for nature items in your yard and do an exercise each time you find one! For example, a pine-cone = 20 jumping jacks, four caterpillars = run around for 1 minute, two butterflies = 7 burpees, etc. Make a scavenger hunt game out of it, and use these other exercise ideas for inspiration:
Go on a bug hunt, and try moving like the animals you find. Can you hop like a grasshopper? Flap around like a butterfly? Crawl like a caterpillar? Inch like an inchworm? Bump around like a bumble bee? Go looking for 30 minutes in the morning and 30 minutes in the evening and try to notice what different animals you see at different times of the day. Post a picture of your favorite insect that you find outside!
Run and/or walk around the outside of the house for 10 minutes, four separate times, taking a break between each run. Count your laps each time, and try to beat that number the next time you take off. What is your lap record?
Once you are finished running around, try going for a 20 minute mindfulness cool-down walk. ‘Mindfulness‘ here is defined as ‘the practice of being fully present in the given moment while working to identify and be aware of our own feelings and emotions’. Try to notice things happening around you in nature that you’ve never taken the time to notice before. Look here for more resources on practicing mindfulness.
Have a dance party outside! Make up your own moves, or follow along to PE teacher Jason Runk’s videos. You can even borrow some ideas from the bugs you saw on Wednesday and dance around how they might move to a beat. What’s your favorite song to dance to, or your favorite dance move?
Find a good spot to look up at the sky, and try to find animal shapes in the clouds. Make a list of what you see, then get up and move around like the animals. Make a game out of it and play some animal tag with someone at home!
Slow things down a bit and try some yoga. Start off with a sun salutation:
Or try out some partner yoga with someone at home:
Here are some additional yoga poses you can try from Action for Healthy Kids:
Mountain Pose: Stand with your arms relaxed at your sides with your palms faced outward in a gesture of openness. Stand tall, like a balloon is lifting you up.
Warrior Pose: From mountain pose, step one foot back, slightly angling it outwards, bend your front knee, and bring your arms straight up towards the sky, and look up. Switch sides
Tree Pose: From mountain pose, transfer your weight to one side. Place the bottom of your left foot on the inside of your right thigh or shin (not the knee) and hold with your palms together at your chest. Switch sides.
Cobra Pose: Lie on your tummy, lift your head and shoulders off ground, place palms flat next to your shoulders, and open your chest.
Cat-Cow Pose: On your hands and knees, tuck your chin into your chest and round your back. Then look up, open your chest, and arch your back. Repeat the Cat-Cow sequence a few times.
Bridge Pose: Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the ground. Rest your arms down alongside your body, tuck your chin into your chest, and lift up your hips to create a bridge.
To finish up, try some Bumble Bee Breathing: Sitting comfortably with your legs crossed, breathe in through your nose, then with fingers in your ears hum out your exhalation. The comforting sound and vibration has a calming effect.
BONUS Rainy Day Alternative
You can still play outside on a rainy day! Try one of these ideas:
- make a slip n slide (soap and a tarp/plastic required)
- walk or run in the rain- what looks different, smells different, sounds different?
- pretend to be an animal that loves the rain – what would a frog be doing?
- Be a worm hero – go hunting for worms that might be stuck in puddles or on sidewalk and move them to safety
Or stay inside and stay dry. Take a look at these resources for more activities you can do in the house. Here are a few ideas:
- YMCA360: The YMCA has a whole library of fitness videos for people of all ages. Check out the youth sports performance and youth soccer sections designed for young athletes.
- Go Noodle: provides videos designed to get kids up and moving throughout the day. They have videos with yoga, dance parties, mindfulness sessions, and more, enabling kids to stay engaged, use their minds, and move their bodies.
- Cosmic Kids Yoga: Check out this collection of themed Youtube videos (more added weekly!) designed to get kids to love yoga. They combine story time with different themes like Frozen and Harry Potter to keep kids engaged and excited about moving.
Move Your Way (sm) Partnership
Active SWV is honored to be selected as one of eight participating pilot sites for the national Move Your Way (sm) campaign for 2020 from the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (ODPHP). With this recognition comes a team from Communicate Health to support launch events, social media campaigns, and educational resources to share with people across southern West Virginia.
The Goal of the Campaign is to promote the recommendations from Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans.
Active SWV encourages participants to get their weekly recommended amounts of physical activity, even when our usual routines are thrown off balance.
- Adults – Need moderate-intensity aerobic activity for 150 minutes a week and muscle strengthening activities 2 days a week.
- Teens and Kids – Teens and kids ages 6 to 17 need 60 minutes of activity every day. Most of their 60 minutes can be moderate-intensity aerobic activity; anything that gets their heart beating faster counts. And at least 3 days a week, encourage them to step it up to vigorous-intensity aerobic activity, so they’re breathing fast and their heart is pounding. As part of their daily 60 minutes, kids and teens also need:
- Muscle-strengthening activity at least 3 days a week Anything that makes their muscles work harder counts, like climbing or swinging on the monkey bars.
- Bone-strengthening activity at least 3 days a week. Bones need pressure to get stronger. Running, jumping, and other weight-bearing activities all count.
Move Your Waysm helps people make small changes that can lead to big health benefits. In the long term, regular physical activity can help prevent chronic health problems like type 2 diabetes. In the short term, even small increases in physical activity can boost mood, reduce stress, and improve sleep.
So, join us in promoting our local Move Your Waysm campaign. By spreading the word that physical activity is something everyone can do, you can help people in our community get more active and live longer, healthier lives.
Find an Active SWV free program near you and start increasing your movement with our trained volunteers and supportive group exercise. Activities are listed here monthly.