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Parents Panel: How do you keep your kids active during the colder months?

YouTube dance videos, baby yoga, and getting outside rain or shine.
Nov 8th 2017, 5:26 PM 3,846 0


AS PART OF’s weekly Family Magazine, we wanted to create a space for parents to share their views. A place where mums and dads could share their experiences, lessons learned, and even mistakes along the way. With that in mind, we’ve launched Parents Panel.

This week, we’re asking our panel about exercise, movement and getting physical: How do you keep your kids active during the colder months?

Here’s what they had to say…

Parents Panel All 7

Top L-R: Olly Keegan, Alan Dooley, Denise, Ken Hyland. Middle L-R: Ríona Flood, Ross Boxshall, Marta Lisiecka, Denise Cumiskey. Bottom L-R: Kait Quinn, Susannah O’Brien, Derek McInerney, Suzie Kelly.

We use YouTube dance videos
At home, we play a lot of simple activity-based games like keep the balloon up, timed tasks and chasing. We also use a range of YouTube kids’ dance videos which are all designed to get children moving. It’s very important to me that they get as much activity as possible and it also really helps fills out the day.

– Suzie Kelly

He goes to baby yoga 
As the Irish weather can be unpredictable I’ve got us all good weatherproof clothes and shoes so we can go out regardless of the weather. We live five minutes from a park with a playground, woodland and a pond, and we head to the beach once a week too. He also goes to baby yoga and we dance daily!

- Marta Lisiecka

20171106_115251 Tymek all wrapped up at the beach. Source: Marta Lisiecka

Our eldest loves dance and tumbling classes
Rain or shine, they use the climbing frame in the back garden. It has rope ladders, towers, swings and a slide, and acts as a great source of entertainment and development for them all. Our eldest loves her weekly dance, stretching and tumbling classes too.

- Ross Boxshall

They’re in the garden unless it’s lashing rain
Unless there’s torrential rain outside, I make the kids spend time out in the garden everyday. Over the weekend, they spent hours outside building fairy houses from my firewood pile. The girls are starting back at their swimming classes now too. They fall into bed on swimming days.

– Susannah O’Brien

shutterstock_638350666 Source: Shutterstock/Iryna Inshyna

He goes to a weekly kids’ gym class
Nathan and his friends go to a kid-focused fitness class once a week in a local gym. He really loves it and his trainers understand that his JIA (juvenile idiopathic arthritis) imposes some limitations on him. Both the boys are avid swimmers too, and have lessons once a week.

– Ken Hyland

The local pool runs toddler courses
I have a two-year-old who never sleeps, so we try to keep her as active as possible to burn off some of her endless supply of energy. She recently did a course in our local pool called Swim Tots, and her name is down for dance class when she turns three.

– Denise Cumiskey

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When it’s dry we’ll head to the park
My children are very young so are naturally very active by nature. They both use scooters, which gets me active too as I have to keep up with them. We’re lucky to live near a large park which is safer for walking and scooting so we usually pop over there.

– Denise

shutterstock_748989727 Source: Shutterstock/Miramiska

They’re out training rain or shine
Our school does have one PE class per week, but it’s not enough to depend on. In winter when it’s dark so early, it’s more difficult to have casual playtime outside, but the two boys play soccer and do taekwondo. No matter what the weather, they go out and train. Both my wife and I exercise a lot so we’re hoping the influence rubs off on them and they view exercise as part of normal day to day life.

– Alan Dooley

We want to get him interested in a range of sports
Charlie is a really big one year old and you wouldn’t believe the number of people who keep going, ‘Oh, that’ll fall off of him once we starts walking!’ I’m not worried about his baby fat. In fact, I think his chunky legs are adorable! That said, we definitely want to get Charlie involved in sports later on. We’ve talked about bringing him to the boxing club, joining GAA, playing rugby and giving the swim team a go.

- Kait Quinn

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