As if there wasn’t enough already to worry about with your family’s health. Now, with homeschooling, you're worried about the effects of drastically increased screen time and decreased physical activity. With these simple tips and techniques, you can rest assured that your kids are getting a healthy balance, despite current circumstances.
Take a body break
Taking a moment to move and stretch throughout your day is good advice for kids and adults. The TPC team has put together a number of stretch-at-home videos you can follow. Stretching in the morning and before you go to bed is incredibly helpful to set your mood for the day or for a good night’s sleep.
Rain or shine, some fresh air does a body good. In addition to giving your eyes a break from short-sighted screen visuals, the great outdoors allows you to soak up some vitamin D and get some exercise. For children, the benefits extend to cultivating an appreciation of nature, learning to take risks, and building executive function skills.
Let them wiggle
Kids are, by nature, fidgety. Expecting them to remain still and focused for extended lengths of time is unrealistic. There is a fun and easy way to build in movement, even while sitting down – the wobble cushion.
Wobble cushions come in handy if your kid has a hard time sitting still (like every kid), has poor balance, or weak core strength. Wobble discs are a common tool used for pediatric occupational therapy. Still, they're also a simple and affordable way to help your kid stay focused.
The wiggle movement gives kids two sensory input types that can be calming for those kids that seek sensory or tactile experiences. Find a wobble cushion at Amazon or Dick's Sporting Goods.
You might be hearing a lot about blue light blocking glasses these days. But what is blue light anyway? Blue light on the visible light spectrum has shorter wavelengths and more energy than light on the other end – like red light. The sun is the primary source of blue light, but blue light also comes from man-made technologies like
- Computers, tablets, and smartphones
- Fluorescent lights;
- LED lights and;
- Television screens
Blue light exposure can disrupt the body’s sleep-wake cycle, leading to crankiness, loss of concentration capacity, and other health issues.
If you’re concerned about your kids’ exposure to blue light, teach them the 20/20/20 rule — looking 20 feet away for 20 seconds after 20 minutes in front of the screen — and consider investing in some blue light glasses.
At TPC, we're hosting a live, interactive series on Home Office Success to help set you and your family up for the most healthy and balanced work-and-school-from-home scenario. Join in on our series with Dr. Mennell anytime! Just drop us a message with your email to get on the meeting roster. Are you an employer? We’d be happy to host a session with your work-from-home employees! Contact us at (503) 574-4872 today.