5 Tips to Avoid a Zombie Apocalypse
The whole world shutting down around us due to the coronaviris (COVID-19) pandemic spreading across the globe. These days the idea of a zombie apocalypse feels more realistic than an Oscar winning thriller starring Brad Pitt. This is real life.
The reality of our current situation is sobering and sureal.
BUT, the zombie apocalypse I’m actually referring to is not the spread of the virus itself, but the zoned-out, zombie-like state of our kiddos addicted to their devices even more than they already are…cue the dramatic music…duh, duh duhhhhh.
Moms and dads everywhere are preparing for long days cooped up at home, working from home, schooling online and in each other’s space every single day…ALL . THE . TIME!
Soccer practice, play-dates, going to the movies, arcades, libraries, museums and other forms of social entertainment aren’t really an option for the foreseeable future.
It’s time to get creative!
As challenging as our current circumstances might be…there is an opportunity here. Our kids are incredibly aware of how we react in these situations, so choose to just take a deep breath, slow down, and find the space and time to come together as a family, make a plan and get creative.
The honest truth is there is going to be more screentime in general. There just is. Especially if you are a parent attempting to work from home with the kiddos around…you’re gonna need some time to focus. But the more you can include your kids in the planning process the better.
It’s a team effort! Here are some tips to getting started.
5 Tips to Avoiding a Zombie Apocalypse
1 – Be Proactive and Make a Plan.
This will look different for every family which means having a plan that is specific to your circumstance is so important. Don’t wait for chaos to strike to get this figured out…put some structure in place before the bad habits are set and more difficult to break.
2 – Create a Daily Routine
A daily spreadsheet or checklist that includes screen time, exercise, chores, schoolwork, etc. can work wonders in tracking new habits and creating a solid routine. Adding small incentives or competitions to complete their charts is even better.
I took our summer chore chart, adapted it to our current routine, and slipped it into a plastic sleeve so they can mark it with dry erase markers and reuse it every week. Feel free to download the template HERE and adjust it to your family’s needs.
3 – Earn Screen Time.
In our house, screens are allowed during certain times of day (usually a 1-2 hour window) IF they’ve earned it. They must complete their checklist beforehand. If they don’t…its quiet reading time for that child (after they finish their checklist of course). 😉 The first part of the checklist is the “not fun” stuff like schoolwork, chores, walking the dog etc.
Set a timer during that time so you don’t lose track of time (hardest part for me). Afterward, the timer goes on again (usually another 1-2 hours) and they can choose from a list of activities. I have my older kids create their own list of crafts, skills or sporting activities they want to improve on. This list is usually for the “more fun” stuff that includes their personal hobbies and allows for personal creativity. (Hint: Sometimes they want to do activities that require more than one person so I’ll create a compromise where they will all do what one person wants, ie: play volleyball, for a certain amount of time, then they will do what the other one wants, ie: play a card game.)
4 – Plan Intentional Physical Activity Every Day.
In my opinion, this is THE most important! Physical activities will keep their brain, bodies, and emotions more regulated. Especially if they are already feeling anxious about the current circumstances. It doesn’t have to be another mundane chore. You can make exercise fun and entertaining for the kids and, trust me, everyone will be happier for it. Check out the list of ideas and resources below for some great ideas!
And as hard as it might be…make sure you, as the parent, are also finding time to get in some physical movement for yourself. This also doesn’t have to be too complicated, but it WILL be worth the effort. At times like this you need to be the healthiest version of yourself possible. Even 10-15 minutes a day can make a big difference. Try going for walks to break up the day, doing yoga before bed, get in a quick 10 minute HIIT workout, or go for a run before the family wakes up in the morning. Make this a priority, pleeeeeease.
5 – GO OUTSIDE!
Thank goodness its spring here in the United States. Fresh air and sunlight will literally boost your immune system as well as your mood, so if it’s possible for you…get your bum outdoors as much as possible.
You can drive to the mountains, go to a park, or even walking around the neighborhood…just keep your distance from people and you’ll be fine…no, better than fine. It will feel so good! Even stepping out into the backyard for creative play and projects will be invigorating for the whole family.
Get Moving – Kid Fitness Ideas
The best possible cure for the upcoming electronic device induced zombie apocalypse is to get our kids moving! Here are a few ideas to get you started. Please comment and share any more great ideas in the comment section below.
We’ll be doing each of the workouts listed below on our Facebook page LIVE every Tuesday and Thursday starting March 24th, at 10am MST / 12pm EST. Join the fun HERE!
1 – Core Exercises
In our program, we teach about Core Strength as the first of four fitness fundamentals. The core is the center of your body and affects everything from your posture to your balance. Better core strength will make every other exercise more efficient and effective. This stands true for kids as much as adults.
Here is a shortlist of core exercises that are great for kids, inspired by The Inspired Tree House.
- Knock Me Over
- Wheelbarrow Walking
- The Inchworm (forward fold, walk hands to plank and back to standing)
- Animal Walking (bear, crab, dog)
Set a timer and have them try to do each movement for 10-20 seconds depending on their age.
2 – Yoga
Yoga can be fun and engaging for kids if you’re willing to get creative. Come up with some imaginative names for different yoga poses…see a few ideas below. Hint: if your child has a particular interest, you can create a theme around the different poses (ie: dinosaurs, unicorns, etc.).
- Be a Bridge (plank)
- Be a Tree (tree pose)
- Rainbow (warrior 2 to warrior 2)
- Mermaid (cobra pose)
- Be a Bird (half moon)
- Frog Pose (yogi squat)
- Sleeping Puppy (child’s pose)
3 – Playing Card HIIT
Choose one card and then do the exercises based on the suit and number on the card. Example: 4 of hearts = 4 mountain climbers.
Option: have your kids team up. The team that gets through a stack of 10 cards the fastest wins.
- Hearts – Mountain Climbers (R&L = 1)
- Clubs – Squat Hops
- Spades – Jacks
- Diamonds – Lunge Back (R&L = 1)
4 – Dice Game
You’ll need 2 dice. First roll 1 die to choose which exercise to do. Then roll 2 dice for how many to do.
- jumping jacks
- crab walks
- bear crawls
- mountain climbers
Check out our Facebook Live videos of Playing card HIIT and a variation of the Dice Game using Yoga poses! This is really life…slightly chaotic but fun! The whole point is to change things up, expose them to new and different types of movement, get their heart rates up and have a little fun in the process. Share any other fun variations you may have come up with in the comments below.
5 – Who can hold it the longest?
Have a competition to see who can hold do these exercises the longest.
- Hover Plank – elbows under shoulders, eyes on the floor in front, hips up off the ground
- Wall Sits – press lower back against a wall, feet set away from wall with knees at 90 degrees
- Donkey Kicker – from all fours, lift one leg to hip level (straight or bent at the knee) and hold, then do the other leg
- Dog Peeing – from all fours, lift one leg to the side (bent or straight knee)
- V-Sit – from sitting position, lean slightly back and lift both legs (straight or bent knee) and balance without dropping hands or feet
- Hip Bridge – lay on the floor face up, knees bent, press hips up, shoulderblades stay on the floor. Place a stuffed animal or ball underneath to keep from dropping the hips…if bottom touches the toy they lose.
6 – Just Dance Wii Videos on YouTube
Don’t have a Wii? Us too…we got rid of ours years ago, but my girls loved the dancing game. It turns out you can find the videos for tons of dances on YouTube. Obviously, it doesn’t take score for you like the real game, but can still bring loads of fitness FUN! And there’s nothing quite like dance therapy to bring a laugh, improve the overall mood of everyone in the room.