It’s been tricky to get kids out and about in recent months, with many organised sports still on hold. But there are plenty of ways to get your family moving at home, even in winter.
Exercise and meditation can help children manage stress, improve self-esteem and sleep better, while giving parents a well-earned timeout.
We’ve pulled together some catchy videos to shake a leg to, plus kid-friendly workouts, gentle yoga classes and guided meditations to do at home (many of them for free).
Award-winning Aussie music group the Beanies have a series of bop-along Youtube videos that are perfect for younger kids. Get up, rock out, and then print off some of the group’s educational worksheets and do some mental exercise together.
Thornbury’s ’80s-themed dance school Mixtape Studio offers funky home workouts on its online platform the Mixtape Matrix. Book your kids into a 30-minute class for $5, while you do your adults’ class for $7. A one-week pass is $33, and grants access to every online class that week.
Get Kids Moving
London-based personal trainer and health coach Glenn Higgins wants to put the fun back into fitness with his video series Get Kids Moving. The videos, which are all around five-minutes long, are free to watch on YouTube and feature Higgins dressed as popular characters from fictional universes. Kids can cast spells in Hogwarts costumes, sling webs with Spiderman, test their Star Wars-style lightsaber skills and more.
Geckosports on Demand
Geckosports’ on-demand service is $10 a week. Membership gives you 24-hour online access to interactive sports and fitness classes, which were designed in line with Australia’s physical education curriculum with the help of medical, education and sports professionals.
Yoga With Adriene for Kids
Yogi Adriene Mishler, behind the cult Yoga With Adriene Youtube channel, has been many people’s saving grace through lockdown. She offers free 30-minute yoga classes for kids, accompanied by a 12-year-old to demonstrate the movements. Her straightforward instructions are accessible to yogis of all levels.
The Circus Spot
Seasoned Melbourne circus artists Daniel Rabin and Free Coulston usually run classes at The Circus Spot in Pascoe Vale. They’ve adapted some of their classes for Circus HQ an online platform teaching circus skills to children from as young as two to teenagers. Classes start from $30, but there are discounts for members or if you buy in bulk. And if you don’t own circus equipment, fret not: you can buy juggling balls, scarves, hula hoops and more for delivery through the website.
PE with Joe Wicks
Joe Wicks, aka “The Body Coach”, offers regular 30-minute PE classes and short kids’ workouts on his popular Youtube channel. Many of the lessons offer lower and higher intensity options to cater to the whole family.
Over the Moon Yoga and Dance Studios
Over the Moon Studios offers kids’ yoga and contemporary and classical dance courses for $45 a month. Styles include ballet, jazz and musical theatre. The courses are designed for different age groups, from toddlers to teens, and consist of four-week modules teaching warm-ups, steps, sequences and cool-down moves. Many have an optional assignment, allowing your child to upload a video of their own choreography or poses.
Peaceful Kids is a program to equip children with mindfulness techniques for dealing with day-to-day stress. There are several free mindfulness videos, catering for preps through to Year 12 students, as well as some for parents.
Cosmic Kids Yoga
Jaime Amor started teaching kids’ yoga in schools and nurseries, and now presides over a Youtube yogic empire, her videos amassing millions of views. If your child has a favourite animal, game or movie, there’s likely a themed yoga video to match. Using a green screen, vibrant CGI and lively storytelling, Amor has made videos based on fairytale classics, plus recent pop-culture phenomena such as Moana and Minecraft. There are also videos focusing on getting better sleep, dealing with bullies and building confidence. Access the videos for free via Youtube, or download the paid app. There’s a two-week free trial period.
Light Space Yoga Studios
Melbourne’s Light Space Yoga, which has a studio in Ivanhoe, was founded by a mother-and-daughter team. Light Space emphasises a modern approach to yoga, and its online platform offers 48 live-streamed classes each week, plus access to more than 1000 previously recorded classes. There are classes specifically for children as well as guided meditations. Membership is $60 for unlimited access.