Kids' fitness online and other ways to keep active kids from bouncing off the walls
Kids' fitness online classes are everywhere - and they're total lifesavers. Here's how to keep active kids busy when you're indoors all day...
In short: live, from home.
The immense popularity of Joe Wicks' online workouts at 9am on weekdays is indicative of how much parents are craving routine for their kids, and how good the whole family feels once they've kicked off the day with some movement. Ideally, a workout at 11am, 2pm, 4pm and 6pm would be handy too...
Good thing then that we've rounded up some of the best kids' fitness classes and fun home activities to enjoy online (and offline) now. If you ever thought about investing in a gymnastics mat, don't hesitate. We can't think of a more tempting reason than the phrase "we're all going be home for the next six months."
Photo: Charles Deluvio
Online classes for 6-month-olds and up
As anyone who's tried PE With Joe with a two-year-old in tow can tell you, a toddler's concentration span lasts for approximately one bunny hopping exercise. Here are some other kiddie-focused active classes designed with little ones in mind...
Andy's Wild Workouts: From under the sea adventures to trips to the Arctic, Andy's Wild Workouts on CBeebies combine activity with something educational.
Mini Music Makers: So that you don't have to sing Row, Row, Row Your Boat alone for the umpteenth time. This music sing-along class with live Facebook sessions at 10am weekdays includes props and instruments, and is the perfect opportunity for your child to jump and dance along.
Diddi Dance: These preschool dance workouts for kids have moved online with Diddi Dance in Da House sessions for kids, which combine entertainment with exercise.
Captain Fantastic: Not only is Captain Fantastic your go-to for children's at-home parties, you can also do online fitness classes at 9am daily, followed by toddler classes at 10am. In the afternoons, there's dance and singing, as well as Maths and English, to keep kids busy.
The Little Gym: The Little Gym offers gymnastics, dance and other movement classes across their London locations, and have moved these active sessions online with The Little Gym at Home. These 20-minute sessions are broken down by age group, targeting babies, pre-school kids and grade-school kids.
Playball UK: Playball teaches the basics of ball sports to kids aged 2 and up. They've launched an @Home series so kids can keep moving even while outdoor classes aren't in session.
Little Kickers: It doesn't get much better than Little Kickers for toddler and child football classes with enthusiastic coaches and fun counting and learning games alongside ball skills. Happily, there are now sessions your little one can follow on YouTube.
Playtime: playHooray has a range of play-inspired activities for kids and their grownups. Head to their Insta each day at 10am to join in their interactive, virtual play sessions with coach Claire.
Superhero workouts: Glenn Higgins' Get Kids Moving workout videos on YouTube, combine exercise with superhero moves. From Spiderman to Star Wars, there's plenty to tempt the reluctant mover - and yes, dressing up is encouraged.
Photo: Jyotirmoy Gupta
Cosmic Kids Yoga: Cosmic Kids Yoga might just be the most brilliant YouTube channel - and yes, it can even keep a toddler occupied for 30 mins. With a wide variety of themed yoga classes (Halloween! Moana! Trolls! and many more), the classes combine yoga moves with fun actions, like unleashing your Elsa freezing powers in Warrior 2. You can also do mindfulness for the kids with Zen Den relaxation sessions.
Flamingo Chicks: Inclusive kids' dance company Flamingo Chicks has launched a virtual studio space to ensure that children of all abilities can benefit from dance classes and activities during lockdown.
The dance sessions are filmed with green screens and animated backgrounds to create an immersive world of animation and storytelling, around themes like Space, with all videos equipped with Makaton signing. The organisation has compiled other resources for children and parents of disabled children, including sensory crafts ideas, storytelling videos and parents' and carers' relaxation sessions.
Photo: Organic Zoo
Organic Zoo x Studio iO yoga sessions: Unisex kidswear brand Organic Zoo has teamed up with Holly Cooper from Studio iO in Brighton for weekly Monday morning yoga classes for under-5s.
The bite-sized episodes are 10 minutes long and can be watched live on Organic Zoo's Instagram. Each episode will be inspired by a different setting - the garden, the park, the farm - with stretches and poses relating to these surroundings. Better yet, you'll get some outfit inspo for mums and daughters as both Holly and her daughter will be wearing Organic Zoo threads.
Photo: LTA Tennis
Online classes for kids 5+
LTA Tennis: They say being home is the perfect opportunity to pick up a new skill - or improve an existing one. The LTA can help, with the release of 12 Tennis at Home training videos, created by coaches and experts, which are perfect for picking up tennis skills indoors or in the garden.
Oti Mabuse: Strictly Come Dancing star Oti Mabuse is encouraging kids to salsa and cha-cha from their living rooms, with her live streamed workouts at 11:30am daily, with Disney-themed dances on offer from Aladdin, Frozen and High School Musical.
DDMIX For Schools: Darcey Bussell's dance fitness programme, DDMIX for Schools, has daily shakeup live videos at 1:30pm on Facebook - perfect for a post-lunch energy boost.
Adam Harris Personal Training: Keen for another HIIT fix in the week after your morning workout with Joe? Adam Harris hosts 20 minute Fast Feet Fitness classes live on Facebook at 10am. The workouts are designed by kids, for kids.
Faisal PMA Fitness: Head to Mr PMA's Instagram page at 11am weekdays for a jump and rave workout that's designed for energetic kids.
Funky Moves: Get those street dance moves perfected with Funky Moves' Kitchen Disco Instagram classes, on Sundays at 3:30pm.
#WestEndWarmup: Missing London's musical theatre scene? Who isn't? Kick start Mondays and Wednesdays with West End moves, in workouts led by West End performers, on Instagram.
Gymnastics: Fancy doing some gymnastics training with an Olympic gold medallist? Well, now you can - Max Whitlock is hosting live #GymnasticswithMax sessions, Tuesdays and Fridays at 3.30pm, on YouTube. Back walkovers, here we come.
Photo: Born To Move with Les Mills
Les Mills: Les Mills is offering 30 days of free access to Les Mills on Demand, which gives users access to over 800 different workouts, from HIIT to yoga to Born To Move, the Netflix-style kids' fitness programme with Avengers-themed workout sessions and dance and foundation fitness workouts.
Photo: Plush Design Studio
Ballet: For those missing their ballet classes and craving some teaching expertise from the best of the best, Turn it Out With Tiler is at 6pm UK time on Instagram and involves New York City Ballet principal dancer Tiler Peck teaching you her moves (you don't need a barre, just use a chair).
Bloch Dance USA is hosting live Instagram classes with the likes of New York City Ballet principal, Ashley Bouder, as well as tap, contemporary and more.
Everyone is obsessing over American Ballet Theatre Isabella Boylston's online dance classes, #TheCindiesBalletClass, on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 2pm EST (7pm UK time). She even dresses up as Harry Potter - in pointe shoes - and all proceeds go to benefit those impacted by COVID-19.
Photo: Kayla Farmer
Invest in some home active kit
Remember that rule you made about no scooters in the house? Yeah, you're probably going to want to abandon that right about now (you'll sanitise them first, of course). In fact, you've probably already pulled out the rollerblades - and the skateboard you never got around to teaching them how to use.
Here are some other bits of kit that may save your sanity right now.
Trampolines: If you have the space for an outdoor trampoline, it's likely you already have one (we're well jeal). However, these mini ones work well indoors or even in postage-stamped sized London gardens.
Gymnastics/dance equipment: Surely we can't be the only ones whose children have turned every surface in the house into their gymnastics floor routine training space. Save yourself a heart attack and think about getting them a tumbling mat - or even a foldaway stretching barre, perfect for gymnasts and dancers.
Putting mat: Calling all amateur golfers. A putting mat for indoor golf is a fun idea for golf-mad parents and their kids.
Outdoor play equipment: From netball hoops to football nets, it's amazing how one piece of kit can encourage your child outside and get them running around the garden lots more. An all-surface Swingball is a must for toddlers.