When kids are in school, teachers know that the best way to keep them well-behaved and focused is to get them outside for recess or to the gym for P.E. at regular intervals. When school is out, we sometimes forget that … and then wonder why our kids are climbing all over us and getting into fights with each other. If the weather is bad and you don’t happen to live in an indoor playground, there’s no shame in turning to kids exercise videos and mobile apps for help.
When I was a kid, the only options for this were extended dance parties and following along to my mother’s aerobics videos. I may not have gotten the moves down, but I certainly had fun and learned to associate that fun with physical action (something I never did when it came to sports). Those of you with similar fond memories will be pleased to discover that there are tons of cheesy exercise videos available to stream on Amazon Prime — no VHS player necessary.
Your kids, however, might have a different threshold for camp. Don’t worry, there is an app, YouTube channel, or website that will suit them here. You may also want to look up your local yoga studios and gyms to see if they offer live streams of their classes. That way you can continue this healthy exercise habit when it’s time to get back out into the real world.
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Cosmic Kids Yoga
Since 2012, chipper British yoga instructor Jaime Amor has been donning colorful onesies and weaving story-telling into short yoga classes for kids. Most of her older classes are available on her Youtube channel, but she’s moving toward offering more exclusively on her new Cosmic Kids app.
Miss Nina Sing- and Dance-Along Songs
Hot tip: Check the Facebook page or YouTube channel of your favorite children’s music artists to see if they’re making new videos and live streams. My personal fave is Miss Nina (full disclosure/humblebrag she’s my personal friend, too) who writes her own catchy tunes and gets kids dancing and singing along with them on her shows, streaming from her home in Minnesota. It’s almost exactly like it was when we used to go to her sing-alongs in a Brooklyn café, only with a slightly cleaner floor.
If your kids are receptive to the idea of yoga and mindfulness taught by a dog mascot, definitely download this app, which includes videos, games, and music. Wuf Shanti is a nonprofit developed by a teenager, which certainly gives us hope for the future.
Toddlers and preschoolers will get a kick out of Australian Coach Josh as he dances and moves in front of lively cartoons to silly songs. Because this is on Amazon Prime, you won’t have to worry that it will suddenly autoplay something inappropriate next.
With its hyper ’90s MTV aesthetic and its vast library of videos, the Go Noodle app, website, and YouTube channel are the go-to source for many an elementary school seeking to get kids moving on rainy days. At home, it’s also a great source for dance, exercise, and educational content.
Trampoline (For Freestyle Jumping)
Maybe your kids need a little less structure in their exercise time. Let them bounce out those wiggles on a trampoline. The key is that you can easily fold up small ones like this when it’s time to sit still.
This North Carolina-based company is all about making yoga and mindfulness feel accessible to families, and now Growga is stepping up those efforts by offering free streaming classes twice a week, on Wednesday evenings and Saturday mornings. There will also be daily on-demand videos (some free, some available to rent or purchase), free audio meditations.
Before becoming a parent, I definitely used to make fun of Kidz Bop’s child-friendly covers of pop hits. Now I fully appreciate that the way their YouTube channel ensures that my kid is up to date on all the latest dance crazes.
‘NFL Play 60’
This app, made by the American Heart Association, is perfect for kids who love to gamify everything they do. They have to get up and move in order to put their players in the game and train them for action, and all of their work is rewarded with points and prizes.
=The addictive dance “karaoke” game may not exactly teach kids proper moves, but you’re not here to make them into video vixens anyway. This is addictive fun, and if you don’t have a game console, you can also download Just Dance to a smart phone.
Miley Cyrus’ former backup dancer and Miley and Mandy Show costar went on to launch a solo career, but she’s had the most success as a YouTube creator. This the chance for your teens and tweens to learn dance moves from the woman who taught Miley how to twerk.
Sworkit is one of those health apps that encourages adults to enter their fitness goals for customized workouts (with in-app purchases). But if you download the app, you can get kids workout videos absolutely free.
This dance school in the Netherlands has been posting dance tutorials (set to American songs) on Youtube for years, and has 5.6 million loyal subscribers. Some are for kids, some for adults. They’ve promised to ramp up their online instruction schedule to meet social distancing demands this spring.
7-Minute Fitness Challenge
A few years ago, everyone was into the concept of seven-minute workout — 12 high-intensity but rather traditional exercises done in quick succession. Some fitness fanatics have moved on to other trends, but a clever mom I know realized that these were perfect little bursts of activity she could do with her son on snow days. Download the inexpensive app, which gives videos of each exercise and tracks progress, or just read this New York Times article and show your kid how to do them yourself.
‘Learn How to Dance’
Kids see all the latest dances on TikTok and Fortnite, but they might not exactly know how to break them down to copy them. With his YouTube channel, Bao from Denmark can help. A lot.
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