What is a Healthy Indoor Routine for Children?
Whether it’s because of bad weather or new restrictions, our children should still be physically active. This is a must for their physical and cognitive development. It’s also a great way of steering them away from watching too many videos online or playing a variety of online games.
What is a healthy indoor routine for children?
To help our children stay physically active, it’s crucial to build a routine into their daily lives. This will make their days more predictable and organised. In addition, once the activities become automatic and habitual, staying physically active will be embedded or integrated into their daily lives.
For the routine to work, it should be easy and practical (and doesn’t require a new set of toys and equipment). It also helps to tie in the new activity to an existing habit (just like after a meal we brush our teeth). For example, after a light healthy breakfast we can let our children go into the playroom, grab some toys or practice some dance routines. After an hour of playtime, we can then let our children look at the storybooks or browse age-appropriate content online.
The goal is to make it organised, structured and predictable. It’s similar to what happens in childcare centres where there’s a schedule to follow. This predictable flow of activities helps ensure there’s enough time for playtime and traditional learning. It also helps children feel safer and more secure because they always know what to expect.
For example, at around 9am each day (or just Saturdays) it should be clear to them that it’s time for the dance lessons. Even if it’s online, the schedule and expectations should still be clear. It also helps if the dance activities are guided by a qualified instructor to make the session more productive. It’s always great to receive proper instruction so that the child’s movements will be more polished (and also will look great in the recorded videos).
What if it gets boring? The routine and daily schedule doesn’t have to be planned per hour. There should still be hours for active exploration or just downtime. Also, anytime you can come up with a new exciting activity and quickly integrate it into your child’s schedule.
The goal is to help ensure your child stays physically active. You don’t have to plan each day by the hour and cram each minute with activity. Perhaps a 30-minute dance each day is already enough. You can also change the routine after a few days or weeks to make it more stimulating. What’s important is that you keep your child engaged, physically active and always healthy.