Shamcey Supsup And Michelle Aventajado Share They Have 'PE Time' At HomeIs online schooling turning kids into couch potatoes? These moms have a solution for that!CREATED WITH ENFAGROW A+ FOUR
Physical activity should remain a priority even when kids are staying mostly indoors. While it’s inevitable that they will have more screen time to accommodate their online classes, that doesn’t mean it’s okay for children to remain glued to their gadgets for the rest of the day.
For moms Shamcey Supsup-Lee and Michelle Aventajado, the key is to encourage the kids or even the whole family to do “PE” at home through games, activities, play, and even sports. This way, kids are motivated to get up, move, and keep active even when they don’t have regular physical education classes.
As all parents know, physical fitness has many health benefits, including but not limited to digestion, muscle and bone strengthening, growth, healthy heart, adequate sleep, and even brain development.
Here are some of Shamcey’s and Michelle’s most compelling insights on the topic, as discussed with host Angel Jacob in a recent episode of Enfagrow A+ Four’s “Raising Smart Kids With A Heart” Facebook Live series.
Physical activity can be structured or unstructured
Physical activity encompasses a wide range of activities. It doesn’t have to be a typical exercise or workout routine — which may not be appropriate for young kids. Games, play, sports, or even something like dancing can help with a child’s physical fitness.
For Shamcey, making sure 4-year-old Nyla is active is no hardship. The former beauty queen said that she gets her exercise from keeping up with her very active children. Nyla loves to hop, skip, run, play, pop bubbles, and dance.
Michelle’s 9-year-old Gelli also loves to dance. The mom, who’s the executive director of non-profit organization Best Buddies PH, said she only needs to put on music, crank up the volume, and Gelli is game for a dance party.
Her daughter also gets to move and stay fit through more structured, “teacher-led” forms of activities since Gelli’s online school schedule includes a yoga class and a dance class. The mom also shared that she and Gelli have had regular walks — with protective safety gear on, of course — outside the home. They also like to ride scooters and play with hula hoops.
Kids love it when parents or siblings join in
Both Shamcey and Michelle recommend getting the whole family to join in the activity to motivate younger kids.
In Michelle’s household, her three older children are a big help in encouraging Gelli to move and keep active. Gelli would join her siblings in some of their exercise routines and workouts, such as push-ups and burpees. For Michelle, getting her older kids involved creates a “team-like atmosphere” at home.
Shamcey said her own mom is a significant and positive influence in her family when it comes to physical fitness. Nyla’s lola would gather the whole family to play sports and games outside in the backyard. Nyla even joins in as the “pulot girl” during their badminton games.
Allowing kids to choose what activity to do is another tip Shamcey, a mom of two, shared. Whenever Nyla would ask for more screen time, Shamcey would offer to play with her as an alternative.
“Sometimes, it’s really tough. When [kids] are watching their favorite show, it’s hard for them to stop watching. And the only way they would stop watching is when I say, ‘Mommy would play with you,’” Shamcey said.
Physical activity should be part of the kids’ schedule
According to Michelle, Gelli, who has Down syndrome, is a visual learner. The mom points out that her daughter’s daily scheduled activities are listed on a whiteboard so Gelli has a reference. There’s a feeling of accomplishment when they tick off the boxes in their to-do list.
Shamcey also believes in the importance of routines and schedules, saying that kids feel more centered and at ease when they know the plan for the day or what to expect. Parents also get to avoid tantrums and crying episodes when kids stick to a routine.
The secret to getting kids to move is to make it fun and to be present
Kids will be motivated to put down their gadgets if they see that the screen-free activity parents have planned for them is fun and exciting.
Michelle said turning activities into games is one way to motivate kids to be move. “For Gelli, doing [a physical activity] together as a family is great fun because we’re doing it together.” A little healthy competition for older kids is okay, too.
Shamcey said that parents also need to check if their kids have gotten enough sleep the night before; otherwise, children will feel matamlay. She advised that parents also put down their phones and join in the fun.
“Whatever you want your kids to do, they also have to see you doing it. Especially with younger kids, they really want to follow everything you’re doing. It’s really ‘follow the leader,’” she said.
Healthy, balanced, and ‘colorful’ meals help keep kids energized
Proper nutrition goes hand in hand with an active lifestyle. Kids need to eat a balanced diet, keep hydrated, and drink their milk to be energized to learn, play, and be active.
Shamcey said parents need to “find ways to make eating fun” and “be inventive,” mainly if they’re dealing with picky eaters. She said she learned how to make squash fritters and fried, battered veggies for Nyla when her daughter would only eat fried food.
The mom of two also noted that milk and water remain an essential part of Nyla’s diet. Her daughter would drink milk three times a day and would always have a glass of water after.
Michelle underscored the importance of planning menus and modeling good eating habits. “If you don’t eat vegetables, your kids will not gonna eat vegetables. If you don’t drink milk, your kids are not gonna drink milk.”
She also shared her “five colors a day” guideline for eating veggies and fruits. Michelle came up with this rule because she wants to be mindful of her family’s vegetable and fruit intake. According to this guideline, the whole family — yes, including the parents — needs to have eaten five different colors of veggies and fruits for the entire day.
For sweet treats, both Michelle and Shamcey advocated moderation. They both encouraged parents to choose healthier alternatives to sweet treats by coming up with yummy, dessert-like concoctions using fresh fruits and milk.
To learn more tips from Shamcey and Michelle, watching the entire episode titled “PE Time At Home: Get Your Online Learners Moving To Stay Fit!” here.
The episode is part of Enfagrow A+ Four’s “Raising Smart Kids With A Heart” Facebook Live series, in partnership with Smart Parenting. It was launched as part of Enfagrow A+ Four’s campaign to help moms and dads raise their children in these challenging times. Know more about the campaign by watching this video.