How to keep your kids active and learning with smart gadgets and technology this spring
Spring 2021 is finally here. And, if you're a parent, it's a spring you've been waiting for for over a year now. A vaccine has been developed and is being widely distributed. Things are about to get much better very soon. Yet many US schools are still closed or operating remotely. How can you make sure your kids stay active and learning through another spring at home? Today, we're giving you some ideas.
Worried about your kids spending yet another spring stuck inside the house? If your child’s school hasn’t opened yet, or they’re doing a combination of online and in-person learning, you could be looking at yet another spring and summer with limited options for physical activity, especially if both you and your kids are locked into tight schedules for work and remote learning. But now that the nicer weather is here, it’s actually easier than ever to keep your little ones active and learning this spring. So today, we’re rounding up our favorite tips from the experts as well as some of our favorite gadgets that support learning and physical activity.
Federal guidelines recommend that kids and teens ages 6 to 17 get 60 minutes of physical activity every day. While you might not quite be able to hit that goal every day, there are ways to get your kids active and learning this spring that are pretty easy to integrate.
Tips for keeping your kids active this spring
Getting outdoors during the spring is a simple way to keep kids active and learning. The longer days and warmer weather make it easy for pretty much any family to incorporate, and the activity you choose doesn’t have to be complicated. A simple walk will do. According to Harvard Health Publishing, playing outdoors gives children healthy exposure to sunlight, which helps their bodies create vitamin D, a crucial vitamin to the immune system and bone development. Being outdoors also encourages active play, improved executive function, risk-taking skills, and so much more.
Choose sports that interest your child
When devising activities to get your kiddo moving, healthychildren.org recommends considering their interests and trying to find a sport that might interest them. Do they love tossing a ball with you outside? A great way to get them moving more might be to organize mini softball lessons in the backyard or park with you for half an hour or so. Check the internet for really basic throws and practice them with your child in a non-competitive way. End your session with a game seeing how far you can both toss the ball.
Select developmentally appropriate activities
And, of course, the activities you choose should be developmentally appropriate for your child. It’ll be no use teaching your kid softball if they can’t wear a glove yet. So for younger ones, you might have to go really basic, like a modified game of catch or kicking a ball across a field together. The best thing is that these basic activities are also easy to do inside the house on a rainy day.
Incorporate movement during and between lessons
For those days when you all have too much on your plate, it’s helpful to include movement throughout the day. Heart.org writes that incorporating movement during and between lessons can actually make things easier for parents and teachers. Their expert, Hildi Nicksic, a clinical assistant professor in health and kinesiology at Texas A&M University in College Station, says that if teachers and parents integrate five minutes of activity into a lesson, the child will have a more productive learning experience. You could do this in the form of a quick came of Freeze between lessons, buying a chair that promotes active sitting, or even giving your kids an assignment like taking a ruler and measuring things around the house.
The warmer weather and longer days definitely give you many more opportunities to keep your kids active and learning this spring. And if you’re looking for some gadgets that can help, we’ve got some great ones to recommend.
Our favorite active gadgets for kids
Little Tikes Tobi Robot Smartwatch for Kids
For a cool toy that keeps your little ones active and learning this spring, go for the Little Tikes Tobi Robot Smartwatch for Kids. This smartwatch has a built-in robot that moves and over 100 different facial expressions. It encourages kids to move while they play, thanks to the dance activity game and built-in pedometer.
Nintendo Labo Toy-Con 04 VR Kit
Not so much a physical activity as a learning one, the Nintendo Labo Toy-Con 04 VR Kit gets your kid creating and interacting. It combines DIY activities with pass-and-play multiplayer techniques. The whole family will enjoy creating and then playing their own VR games and bringing their ideas to life with this active learning gadget.
Active Chair Wobble Stool
Keep your kids active during distance learning with the Active Chair Wobble Stool. Its special design engages stomach and back muscles and also works the legs and arms. Designed for children as young as two years old, this stool is also a great way to calm your child’s fidgets and keep them focused on the task at hand.
Limbic Physical Gaming Console
Stay active around the house with the Limbic Physical Gaming Console. This interactive system transforms any wall into an area where you can play ball games, take part in fitness classes, and train your physical and cognitive skills. It even comes with games that help your kids learn math and geography.
Fitbit Ace 3 Kids’ Activity Tracker
Your kids might find being active more fun when they can track it. And that’s why the Fitbit Ace 3 Kids’ Activity Tracker is a great gadget for keeping your kids active and learning. It tracks sleep, counts daily steps, and syncs to a smartphone. In Parent View, you can see the data on your kids’ activity, while Kid View gives your child access to different clock faces, badges, and statistics.
There are countless ways you can keep your kids active and learning this spring. Let us know your ideas in the comments.