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So you’re suddenly your kid’s PE teacher.

So you’re suddenly your kid’s PE teacher.

There are several online “PE class” resources available for students during this time of sheltering in place, and many of them are free. But there’s something to be said for stepping away from the computer, especially now, and engaging in physical activity, screen-free playtime, and if possible, the great outdoors. Your needs will differ depending on the ages of the child/children you’re sheltering in place with, so keep your specific situation in mind while you plan your PE class.

If you have a yard, you have a lot of options. My co-worker told me she set up cones in her yard after a long workday, grabbed a glass of wine, and let her three-year-old twins run in circles around them until the wore themselves out. This is certainly an option, but if your schedule allows for bigger plans, consider playing a game of croquet with your kids. Foursquare is a fun, competitive game if you have at least four people who can play along. And, if my childhood is any indication, nothing is better than parachute day in PE class.

If your child is not in physical contact with other children right now due to the coronavirus situation, your sports options might seem a bit limited. But there are plenty of fun activities for individual kids that allow for cardio or coordination/balance training. Horsehoes and ring toss games provide an easy, fun way to get outside.

Mother playing horseshoes indoors with child

For a little more exercise without sacrificing any of the fun, give hop balls a try. For more straightforward balance work, try these easy-to-use balance beams, or, if you have a smaller space, balance pods. Pogo sticks are still around, but if your child is new to balance training, you might want to try stilts (yes, stilts). They’re fun and lower to the ground than you’re thinking, trust me.

If you’re in an apartment, particularly if it’s a studio like my old place in Manhattan, you might think it’s impossible for your kid to get any exercise without leaving your home. Options for exercise in small spaces include a trampoline – fun for all ages, or a hopscotch mat or bowling for younger kids. If you’re looking for something for older kids, particularly if they’re more athletic, consider a jump rope or an agility ladder.

boy and girl with bowling set indoors

Physical exercise is always important, but right now, for both kids and parents, it’s an important way to combat the inevitable stress of this situation. Take it easy on yourself, enjoy this time together, and keep your family moving!

unsplash-logo photo by pan xiaozhen
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