• Sara Silvestri, MD FAAP

Burn that Energy - Quarantine Fun #2

Kids have a ton of energy. A ton! Having a safe and positive outlet for that all of that energy is important. It helps settle them, improves behavior and improves sleep. Finding means to burn that energy can be challenging during normal times but, like everything, the extra time spent at home because of CoVID adds an extra level of difficulty. Time to be creative!

Creating a home obstacle course is a great physical activity. Tables and chairs make tunnels to crawl through. Painters tape on floors is an easy way to direct some movement. We used taped squares to direct a portion with jumping like a bunny from square to square. Areas for zig zags, spins, crab walks, frog jumps or any different movements help to create some variety and keep the course fun. You can even add some challenges like tossing rolls of toilet paper into a laundry basket. We know you have toilet paper hidden away!

Remember going out dancing? Remember going out anywhere? Having a dance party is great for the whole family. Kids dance with such vigor and reckless abandon that not only is it adorable but it also wears them out. It’s also a great workout for mom and dad to fight off the weight gain that staying at home has caused for so many of us.

A scavenger hunt may not be the most obvious way to release energy but done right it can be. The key is to have them find some items that are very specific and as far away as possible from each other. Going up and down the stairs several times while completing the hunt will help suck up some of that energy.

Exercise. Well that seems obvious, but may not be something that you think about right away for your kids. There are some wonderful exercise videos for children on YouTube, including some great yoga videos. Older kids may find it amusing to do some of your old exercise DVDs or VHS tapes. Entice them to try by having them dress in the workout gear of the era or play music from that time period in the background.

The key to all of these activities working is to keep the kids interested and engaged. Make the activities fun. Change them up here and there and let the kids help suggest the new changes. Take them into different areas of the home such as a basement or the garage. With just a little creativity and effort, the stir crazy feeling and pent up energy of cabin fever can be a thing of the past!

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