With playgrounds and playdates a no-go, where do your kids get exercise?

Most young kids get their exercise by running wild outside with their friends, playing on the jungle gyms at the playground, or swinging on the swings. Or maybe they do sports like Little League or gymnastics. With the uncertainty of summer swimming pools being open, it's well overdue to start thinking of alternate ways to get our kids some exercise.

Here are a few ideas...

1. Cosmic Kids Yoga


Cosmic Kids Yoga. Courtesy of facebook.com

This YouTube channel offers up yoga routines set to stories for kids to follow. With little cartoons in addition to a real instructor, there's plenty to keep the little ones' eyes, ears, and bodies busy. Routines vary in length with some closer to 10 minutes long and others as long as half an hour. When I was an afterschool coordinator at a preschool we used the Cosmic Kids Yoga routine called "Frank the Frog" for our kids on rainy days. It was wildly popular with a wide age group. Some of the kids were as young as 2.5 years old and others were as old as 6. There was lots of laughter, wiggling, and activity. It was a great way to pass the time, get the kids moving, and keep them occupied!

2. Virtual Gym Classes

Did you think your membership to the kids' gym was going to waste now that they're all closed? Think again! Lots of gyms are doing virtual classes. My Gym in Annapolis is now offering live gym classes for young kids on Zoom that can be accessed anywhere. Classes are 30 minutes and for age ranges 2-6. Classes focus on gross motor and fine motor skills, working to keep young minds and bodies occupied in age-appropriate ways. Don't have a membership? That's okay! You can sign up for a free trial class on their website.

3. Neighborhood Bear Hunt

Have you heard about these? Neighborhoods all over the place are organizing bear hunts for little kids by placing a teddy bear in one of their home windows. Then you can take your kid on an adventurous walk to see how many bears you can find around the neighborhood. Great exercise for the legs and for the eyes! Also, what a way to motivate your kids to walk with you. If your neighborhood hasn't done a bear hunt, think about connecting with neighbors on social media to organize one! Or ask around and find another neighborhood to walk through in search of those fuzzy guys! Remember: it's still okay to go outside for exercise! In fact, it's encouraged! Just remember to stay six feet away from passersby and keep your mask handy!

teddy bear

Bear hunt. Courtesy of Twitter.com

4. Get creative

One of the ways I've been getting my little one outside and away from the playground is by thinking of unique places to go explore. We've wandered the grounds of an old manor inn, thrown pebbles into the Chesapeake Bay on a rainy day, and planted ourselves in the middle of an abandoned soccer field. It's amazing how creative little minds can get when they have wide-open spaces to run, twirl, and roll. Bring out some frisbees or some balls. Search for the places no one would think of to go and you'll find fun that you hadn't thought of before either!

Do you have any recommendations for ways to get your kids exercise in quarantine? Share with us in the comments!

The Run-Around is a weekly feature, focusing on fitness in and around Annapolis, MD.