All of us are designed to be active. The difference with your children is that they are less likely to have been conditioned to sit still for hours, which why 6 year olds can be a handful if you're working from home.
It's never been more important for children to do the recommended 60 minutes of physical activity every day. Exercise doesn't just develop young people physically, it helps learning by boosting concentration (and - just as important for harrased parents - helps them sleep!).
If you can, make the most of your daily outdoor exercise allowance and take the kids out for a run, a local bike ride or a family walk in an open green space. Or check out some of the online links below (you may also want to see our 'health conditions' page) and follow us on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram for new ideas every day.
Online resources for children
Alongside their studies, your child will find comfort in routines at school that include regular breaks and different ways of learning, so build your own 'new normal' at home. You might choose to start each day live streaming the 9am PE workout from Joe Wicks, but could also save it for a mid-morning energiser or choose some of the other daily challenges out there to break up your child's 'schoolday'.
There are loads of trusted resources available online to help parents with their childrens' learning:
Standard video workouts
- Change4Life Disney Wake Up Shake Ups - ideal for younger children
- #ThisIsPE - video lessons and notes from our friends at Yorkshire Sport - new videos on Mon, Weds and Fri
- Endorsed by Activity Alliance, inclusive activities can be found on the Mr Higgins Multi Sport YouTube channel
- Cosmic Kids Yoga - 3+, including mindfulness and relaxation exercises
- UDOIT! Dance Foundation - free street dance lessons
- Synergy Dance - pay-to-watch online courses, with free audio delivery of activities for the visually impaired
- This Girl Can Disney Dance Alongs
- Just Dance - see short videos of dances from this app which uses a mobile as the controller
Active learning resources
Active learning helps kids learn through activity and play. Keep your primary-aged children active and find short activities that will help them in studies ranging from maths to science with these sites.
- BBC Supermovers - from number bonds to noun phrases, short curriculum-linked videos designed to get children moving as they learn (and lots more for all ages on the BBC Teach portal...)
- Create Development Real Play - Schools can unlock free access for parents to over 250 PE activities and challenges
- Get Set resources - Team GB & ParalympicsGB-inspired site with cross-curricular resources for home schooling. Follow on social media for daily challenges
- GoNoodle on YouTube - workout dance videos but delivered with an educational twist (parents may wish to reach for earplugs...)
- imoves - sign up for free and get daily activities delivered to your inbox
- Premier League Primary Stars - whatever the views on players' salaries, football-mad KS1&2 pupils can be engaged with these ideas
- Questr - free science and English activity resources driven by use of smartphone QR codes
We're producing some quick ideas for parents to use with younger primary school children, including versions of some of our popular PhysiFUN games which have been adapted to use things you might have available at home:
- Weekly Challenge 1: Active Animals - with thanks to Pirbright Village Primary School for the inspiration
- Weekly Challenge 2: In-home Activities - using props from your house you may never have thought of
- Weekly Challenge 3: PhysiFUN 1
- Weekly Challenge 4: PhysiFUN 2
- Weekly Challenge 5: PhysiFUN 3
- Weekly Challenge 6: PhysiFUN 4
If your son or daughter has a favourite sport or three, many national governing bodies and associations are offering ideas of things to do at home, from workouts to desk activities. Just search online for your sport but here's a random selection of our favourites with decent resources:
General exercise activities
- Youth Sport Trust activities - home learning resources from the people behind the national School Games programme, and daily challenges on social media
- Premier Education - parents can sign up for free activity cards that are suitable for indoor or outdoor use
- Sportshall Athletics home pentathlon - see their YouTube videos for the events your family can compete in - try one a day
- British Cyling's Ready Set Ride programme has loads of video tips to help get children confident on their first bike from skills to games
- Nike Active kids do better - a few activity game cards to try
Do it yourself workouts
Challenge your kids to come up with their own activities using what's around you at home, or spice up a country walk by setting challenges like the woodland workouts below (tricep dips, lateral jumps and press ups). Just make sure any activities are safe and suitable for the age of your child and you're apart from other people.
Ensuring safety online
With children likely to be spending more time online, it's important that they know how to stay safe, and that you know how to help them. Read more about staying safe online:
- The UK Safer Internet Centre - general advice for parents, including how to enable parental controls
- Internet Matters .org - more tips, with details of how to report problems you see online and information advice split by age
- Net Aware - from Houseparty to Hoop, this NSPCC resource introduces you to the apps your child is using and what to be aware of. You can also subscribe to email updates for emerging apps.