For many parents, our kids are now home 24/7, learning remotely – and many are more sedentary than in their pre-Covid-19 existence. Our kids are designed to move, but they are missing out on everyday opportunities like busy play with friends and after-school sport – all on hold for the time being. As we head into the school holidays, keeping our kids (and ourselves) moving is so important for both physical and mental wellbeing.


1. Get Outside!

two girls exploring the bush

The Office of Sport and NSW Health have important measures in place to keep the community safe during the COVID-19 outbreak. However, people are still allowed to leave their homes for the purpose of ‘exercise’. Thankfully in the Clarence, we are spoilt for choice; with access to some wonderful beaches and National Parks (day-use only). We can still get outside as a family for our daily walk, run, cycle, swim or surf. Keep it interesting for your kids by mixing it up – why not go out in the rain? Or exercise at different times of day; take a sunrise or sunset walk and watch the sky colour/fade. Take a bottle of bubble mixture to the beach late in the day (and watch your kids marvel as the bubbles drift towards the sun, catching the light/beautiful colours). It is a great way to get the kids (and dog) moving as they chase the bubbles in the breeze!

2. Explore the Endless Possibilities of the Outdoors.

Skim stones, roll down a grassy slope, climb a tree, rock-hop, explore the tide pools, look for birds, fish and wildlife. Take a bucket and fossick along the tide line, or go on a nature scavenger hunt, pick flowers in different colours, seeds, driftwood and pebbles. For younger family members – Go on a Bear Hunt!


3. Break out the Chalk!

grild with coloured chalk on pavers

Give the kids some coloured chalk to draw on the driveway or footpath in front of your home. There’s a lovely global movement going on during the Covid-19 Crisis called The Rainbow Trail – check out the link to the Private Facebook group here: Rainbow Trail Australia.

Think about incorporating an active component into your streetscape, like a hopscotch grid or an obstacle course along the footpath. Make a start point and work your way around the footpath by drawing different activities. Tasks you may incorporate are dancing, jumping/on one foot, hopping, turning around, clapping, going backwards, etc. Add in some “break” activities such as ‘make a wish’, ‘give high five to the sky’, ‘say your name’ etc. which makes the journey more fun. Alternatively set up an obstacle course inside your yard, use pool noodles, hula hoops, rope and mini hurdles.

obstacle course


4. Bounce the Day Away.

If you have a trampoline, play games together or encourage the kids to bounce to break up their day.  If the weather is mild – add a sprinkler and bounce in swimmers. Or put on some of their favourite tunes and have a dance party! Or make it a dance contest and see who has the best moves. Some of their favourite dances may be a little more challenging on the trampoline! Create your own backyard Olympics – the trampoline is perfect for tumbling or seeing who can jump the highest or farthest.

5. Create a Giant Game Board.

A trampoline can also provide a quiet outdoor space for games. Give the kids some chalk (it washes away easily with rain). They can use it to draw/play games, such as:

  • Tic Tac Toe
  • Hangman
  • Charades
  • Twister
  • Pictionary

6. Cloud Watch or Star Gaze.

cloud gazing

If you haven’t looked at the clouds for fun shapes in a while, you’re missing out! Kids can find the most surprising shapes! And there’s nothing better than stargazing from the comfort of your trampoline. Download a stargazing app like Sky View (iPhone) or Stellarium (Android) for identifying constellations.

7. Go Camping in Your Backyard.

Missing out on your great outdoors adventure these holidays? Why not pitch the tent or open up the caravan and have a camping holiday at home this Easter long weekend. Host your own, or join in the “The Great Easter Backyard Weekend Campout.” Their Activities include ghost and campfire stories via Facebook live, Easter egg hunt, games and roasting marshmallows. Check out the event details here.

fire pit

If you want to create a camping experience without the camping part, set up a backyard fire pit and take the kids on a walk to find the perfect marshmallow roasting stick.


7. Go Camping in Your Living Room.


Set up the tent, (or a blanket fort) bring out the sleeping bags and let the kids have an indoor camp out right in your living room, playroom or even in their own rooms.

8. Create an Indoor Obstacle Course.

*This is also a fun activity for parents to participate in! Set up a course in your living room or playroom with pillows, couch cushions, and other equipment. Build the obstacle course so your kids have to climb, roll, jump, hop, crawl and bear crawl through. The more obstacles, the better! Add a picture card or simple directions for each activity station. Use canned goods (- we all probably have a few spare tins of baked beans atm!) or other items to jump over. One station can be 10 jumping jacks. Another can be 3 spins. Add masking tape lines and zig-zags on the floor to hop, jump and balance on. Balance a bean bag or book on your head. Hula hoop at another station. Run in place as fast as you can. March around a table. Do the crab walk. Challenge older children by adding gym-based exercises to the course:

  • Pushups
  • Planks
  • Lunges
  • Fast skipping
  • Single-leg balancing

9. Animal Movement Exercises.

LA-Based creative Agnes Hsu shares a great video demonstrating some fun animal movements which can be done across your yard or living room. Have your kids choose from the elephant, crab, giraffe and more – for guaranteed giggles. Or have your kids invent their own moves; doing a bear crawl, hopping like a bunny rabbit or slithering like a snake to keep it interesting.

10. Create an Activity Cube.

Like a giant dice, roll this cube to see what activity they get to do. Some themes may include Exercise, Animals, Characters, Language, Truth or Dare. For example, a kid’s exercise cube may include 20 x star jumps, running on the spot for 30 seconds, hop like a bunny 15 x times, plank hold for 15 seconds, 10 x pushups, and 10 x sit-ups. The family can take turns rolling the activity cube to find out what’s next.

11. Balloon Games.

Balloon Tennis or Soccer. Blow up a couple of balloons and push the furniture to the walls so the kids can kick the balloons around for a fun game of soccer, or use paper-plate paddles for tennis to bounce it back and forth. Volleyball could work too.

12. Hot Lava.

Spread cushions, rugs and mats around on the floor, then the players have to hop from “stone” to “stone” without falling into the hot lava.

13. Snowball Fight.

For the Frozen fans, ball up some white socks and throw them at one another! Don’t get hit or you turn into a snow statue!

14. 2D Balance Beam.

Stick a long piece of painter’s tape to the floor and encourage your children to walk across the beam without falling off. You can make it more challenging by having them hop from one balance beam to another.

15. Easter Egg & Spoon Race.

It is Easter – so before all the eggs have been devoured, set a few aside for a chocolatey egg and spoon race. Use tablespoons to carry Easter eggs across the room (or yard) to another family member. Transfer the egg from your spoon to your partner’s spoon without dropping it and then race back to the starting line.


16. GoNoodle.

GoNoodle is a favourite of classroom teachers because they offer free mindfulness and movement videos created by child development experts. Try GoNoodle for Families.

17. Cosmic Kids Yoga.

Cosmic Kids is another favourite of teachers to introduce students to yoga and mindfulness. Try out the videos for free on their Cosmic Kids YouTube page / or download the Cosmic Kids app to stream videos ad-free (first two weeks are free).

18. Kids Bop.

Kids Bop is for kids who love music and love to dance, this is a great free YouTube channel for them. If your kids like to get down and groove, or it’s your thing and you want your kids to have fun with you it is worth a look. Videos are various lengths so have a look for timing that suits you.

19. Tahnee and The Treehouse.

Tahnee and The Treehouse provides a nurturing, happy place where children could learn about dance, movement and music. There are plenty of free videos available on the website that makes dance fun, each video aiming to build confidence and self-worth, focusing on topics like counting, feelings, balance, learning about opposites and much, much more. This is more suited to younger kids.


20. Build-A-Thon.

cubby making

To take the activity-level down a notch in the afternoon put your architect’s hat on. There are a million ways to build a fort – with couch cushions, under a table covered in sheets, between bunk beds and chairs and random pieces of furniture or even from cardboard boxes you have around your home. It is a great creative time killer, build fun things like a shop, pirate ship, cabin or boat together. The imagination and teamwork that goes into fort-building is the best part. Plus forts create cosy nooks for kids retreat to and just ‘be’. But the building is only half the fun – don’t forget to break out the crayons, markers, paint and stickers so the kids can decorate too – while you go and help yourself to a nice cup of tea (or probably at this point a well-earned glass of wine)!