The BBC have reported that “One in 25 children in England aged 10 or 11 are severely obese” and we know it can be a challenge getting children and young people to switch off from screens in the summer time, so we’ve come up with some tips on how you can USE technology to get them exercising, exploring and improving their fitness.
1. Go Noodle
For all the dance lovers: here’s a great app to get you up and moving!
GoNoodle has ‘hundreds of videos that get you running, jumping, dancing and stretching!’. Everything from fun videos with easy to follow actions, flow yoga and mindfulness and Zumba to our all time favourite ‘The Cha Cha Slide’. The GoNoodle app is free to download and has lots of videos to follow along to that will suit all styles. It asks for a parent, carer or guardian’s email address in order to create an account which they will then use to authorise children’s accounts.
It’s worth noting that once signed up, Go Noodle allows videos to start being watched regardless of whether you’ve authorised the account or not.
It can also be accessed through a browser and is great for children, parents, educators and other professionals working, learning and playing together.
Want a real life treasure hunt? Geocaching allows you to explore your surroundings like you never have before. People who take part in geocaching are referred to as Geocachers. Geocachers will put a ‘geocache’ in a specific location around the world and you have to find it.
There are millions of geocaches all over the world. A geocache could be a small magnet attached to a railing or it could be a box hidden in the forest. Once you find the geocache inside there will be a piece of paper (a ‘log’) where you write your geocache username, you can then mark that geocache as found on your app or online.
The geocache is found using GPS co-ordinates that can be accessed using a mobile phone with the geocaching app installed or by using GPS tracker and entering the correct co-ordinates. Once you’re within five metres of the geocache it is up to you to find it, so happy hunting!
Hunting Tip – If you were hiding something where would you put it?
Basic Geocaching membership is free and is all you need to get started. Geocaching is fun for all the family!
3. Mover Kit
‘Tech will Save Us’ was founded in 2012 and aims to spark children’s imagination whilst using technology.
Their ‘Mover Kit’ allows children to incorporate basic programming skills involving movement using a series of ‘if’ and ‘then’ statements.
Once assembled, it is worn around the wrist like a watch and it produces a coloured light if one of the programming statements is complete. i.e ‘if’ I jump 20 times ‘then’ the blue light will come on.
4. Activity Tracker
So after all the moving, yoga, cha cha sliding and geocaching – how do you find out just how much activity you’ve actually done? Trackers are a great way to monitor activity levels and sleep. There are a variety of different styles and colours available so there is one that will suit everyone. Most trackers are worn around the wrist and can then sync with a laptop or app to display all the data that has been collected.
60 minutes exercise a day is recommended for children and young people, so this is a great way to check targets are being met. An activity tracker is also a great way to get motivated to do more. You can see just how much (or how little) exercise is actually being done.
How about having a challenge to see who can do the most steps?