5 min read

Daily physical activity is an important component of overall health and wellbeing.1 The Canadian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines recommend that preschoolers receive 180 minutes of physical activity per day and of this time one-third (or 60 minutes) should be energetic play. However, COVID-19 has made meeting this guideline challenging for adults and children alike.

In response to COVID-19 many of the activities that get children moving, such as sport programs, have been temporarily cancelled. As well, the necessary restrictions that are in place to keep children safe at child care centres have impacted physical activity programming. Cleaning protocols and cohort guidelines may involve some changes and creativity in order to get children physically active!

The final instalment of our COVID-19 Blog Series includes some resources that will connect you to fun activities that allow for physical distancing and require minimal equipment use. Check out the ideas below if you are looking for some fun, new ways to encourage children to be active while keeping them healthy and safe.

Active for Life

Active for Life is a Canadian social initiative focused on developing physical literacy for children. They aim to provide direction on practical strategies to help all children lead a healthy lifestyle.

Activities for Kids

  • This link provides a great library of activities can be filtered by age and skill, such as Balance, Hop, Kick and Run. Each activity has instructions, a description, and even variations to avoid children from getting bored.

Be Fit For Life

Be Fit For Life is a provincial network that works to inspire, educate and support Albertans in leading a healthy lifestyle. With a focus on physical activity, Be Fit For Life coordinators support their communities in developing physical literacy through workshops, events, and online resources. Check out the links below for a couple of our favourite activities!

Movement Dice

  • This link provides a creative game that requires minimal equipment and keeps children on their toes. For each number on the dice, there is a corresponding movement. Have children roll the dice and do whatever movement they land on! The following link includes the “original poster,” with predetermined movements, a separate poster for “early years,” as well as a blank poster that allows you to create your own movements. The versatility of the game ensures it never gets old!

Let’s Warm Up! 

  • This link includes a wonderful poster that would be great to hang up in a space where kids play. With a variety of cardio, dynamic, and stability exercises, the poster makes inspiration for movement easy. Choose a few from each category, throw on some music, and experience how fun physical activity can be!

We hope these resources are helpful when looking to get children more active while abiding by COVID-19 guidelines. If you are still on the hunt for more ideas watch out for a blog post coming soon outlining our favorite traditional games that allow for social distancing!

Although this is the last instalment of our COVID-19 Blog Series, CHEERS will continue to share resources that support Early Childhood Educators. Remember to follow our Instagram and Facebook page @CHEERSforchildcare.

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Author Bio

Lynne Lafave is an associate professor in the Department of Health and Physical Education at Mount Royal University in Calgary Alberta. She holds a doctorate in nutritional sciences and her research focuses on nutrition, physical activity, and well-being initiatives in early childhood education and care. As the principal investigator on the CHEERS project, she works jointly with early childhood educators and CHEERS project coordinators to support early child health and well-being initiatives in the early childhood education and care setting.