Keeping kids’ spirits and activity levels up while staying at home

With schools temporarily closed and many parents across the country now working from home, we’re all having to rethink how we can keep kids active and entertained while staying inside. Throughout the changes, technology can really help to keep children active and proactive. Here are Garmin’s top tips for keeping kids spirits and activity levels up while at home:

Create a daily routine

As well as the education, one of the aspects kids will miss from school will be the routine. So, even though they won’t be held accountable by the school bell, they’ll need a routine at home. Break the day down into learning hours, exercise hours, chores, and, of course, chill out time. Apps are a great way to form this routine, especially if they’re connected to your kids’ activity trackers. With our vívofit® jr. 2, for example, parents can create alerts and reminders (your very own equivalent of the school bell) to let them know when it’s time to focus on their next activity.

Keep them moving, even if they are indoors

Your kids might be missing out on the walk to school and PE lessons, but that doesn’t mean they can’t stay active indoors – or in the garden. Space will be more limited, but there are now hundreds of daily workout routines or ‘PE lessons’ on YouTube, Facebook and Instagram. Having a smart activity tracker too will also teach them basic exercise moves from new fitness training cards, including jumping jacks, downward dog, mountain climbers and more.

Gamify chores – and reward them accordingly

Getting kids to do chores is no mean feat. But if they’re going to be in the house more, then this is a great time to give them more responsibilities. Give them small activities to focus on that will keep them occupied – but will help you out at the same time. And you can add a financial incentive – smart technologies let you reward coins for chores well done – and to keep track of how much you’ve promised to each child. Whether that manifests itself as cash, time earned in screen time, or something else, is up to you.

Keep track to see if they’ve done enough activity

Luckily, activity trackers and smart devices mean that you can see how much activity kids have done each day – or how much more they need to do in order to meet their goals. Rather than manually trying to guess if they’ve done enough, you can see the data yourself. And, if you think they need to be moving more? Why not set friendly reminders to get up and get moving around? Our vívofit jr. 2 watches let kids unlock special adventures after they’ve completed 60 minutes worth of daily activity.

Set time aside to be active with them

A lot of parents are forming schedules around their own work commitments, but part of these ‘shifts’ could include family bonding time, factoring in hours to do something fun and active. It’s important you get your own exercise during this time. Our range lets parents link their smart watches to their children’s – and can set them activities and fitness goals to achieve together as a family. There’s no reason why Mum and Dad can’t join in with those mountain climbers or jumping jacks; why not turn it into a family competition for who can do the most? Our vívofit jr. 2 range includes Toe-to-Toe™ step challenges, so kids can sync with siblings to compete in timed step competitions. Parents can make use of this functionality and get in on the fun by using our app.

Keeping your kids and family active while staying safe is the most important way, as a community, we can support our world at the moment. The current situation may be a big change for everyone, but we’re all in this together, and Garmin is here to support parents and families every step of the way.

You can check out our vívofit jr. 2 range here.