Most people know the benefits of sport and exercise. But did you know that the stronger a child’s gross motor skills, the more likely they are to go on to live an active lifestyle in the future, and stay engaged in sport?
Did you also know that engaging in physical activities with your child helps strengthen your relationship in new ways, and will reinforce the importance of exercise to your child?
Below, are some examples of our favorite parent/child exercises; give them a try at home with your family to help improve fundamental skills (strength, speed & hand eye coordination).
All you need is a mat and tennis ball (or soft ball). Check the area you are using is safe and you’re ready to go. Important tip; make sure you try and use both sides of your body, or alternate hands for every exercise where applicable.
Down ball/2 Square:
A classic and fun exercise that a lot of children will know how to play and probably do at school. Face opposite each other and start by just bouncing and catching the ball to each other. Set a challenge of 5-10 in a row without dropping them. When this is easy then get into batting the ball to each other. It is only allowed to bounce once in between and try and change hand each shot.
This is very easy and great for kids to improve their jumping and landing abilities that will transfer into their speed and power. The adult can start in a crouched position with one arm stretched out to the side. The child has to try and do a two footed jump over the arm and land as quietly as possible on the mat. Start nice and low and increase each time, finding your child’s correct challenge point. To progress, you can get them to do side and backwards jumps. Look to do this for up to 30 seconds with plenty of rest in between jumps. Don’t forget to have a go yourself to show your kids how it’s done.
This one is perfect to improve your functional strength. Start facing each other on your hands and feet (knees off the ground). The aim is to move around, always facing each other, trying to tag your partners hand when it is flat on the ground. If you get tagged you can either put your chest to the ground and back up to get back in the game or, if you have space, get your chest to the ground and roll over your back before returning to the game.
These are just a few basic examples of exercises you can do together. Don’t be afraid to try different things or invent new rules. The main thing is to keep the exercises as fun as possible and make sure it is safe. We are all about trying to develop children’s speed, strength and hand-eye coordination from a young age as we know how beneficial improving their core skills is to help them enjoy sport and live a healthy and active lifestyle. For loads more fun activities check out our Bear Essentials Sport App on the App store. Our sessions are just 5 minutes each as we know that by just doing a little bit everyday a huge improvement can be made.