5 Tips For Active School Holidays

The school holidays always tend to come around so quickly!

Some look forward to them and others, not so much. Regardless, the last thing we want is our kids bouncing off the walls, jumping on the furniture and complaining they’re, quite simply, “bored”. However, there are plenty of ways to keep kids entertained, and even better, to keep them active at the same time.

We’ve come up with our top 5 tips for keeping the family active in the school holidays. Here they are:

  1. Create a family school holiday checklist. This can be as simple as writing a list of activities (and even chores) that must be done every single day. Kids thrive on routine and enjoy the challenge of completing everything on their checklist they are challenged to do. This could include 30 minutes on board games or puzzles, one hour of physical, outdoor play, cleaning their bedroom and one movie. Rewards can be waiting for those who complete their daily checklists, and if you’ve added some active chores in there, you can enjoy the reward too!
  2. School holiday clinics and day-camps are usually a great opportunity to try a new activity or sport, without signing up to an entire season. Most organisations such as the NRL and Tennis Hot Shots run mini-clinics for school holidays where kids learn basic skills, meet new friends and work up a sweat. Sometimes, there may even be a youth group in your area that will run days out to the zoo, or various activity sessions.
  3. Explore what the local area has to offer in bush walks and secret tracks. This can also be done through learning more about your area’s history from both Aboriginal and early settlers perspectives. Encourage the kids to do their own research, and then put the adventures into action. Great to get their muscles working throughout the school holidays.
  4. Create a point system. This can be linked in with point 1, especially if your kids need to be motivated by specific things. Earning points from your checklist can motivate kids to stay active, and in return, they can choose one active outing or activity. This could be the bush walk we researched earlier, or even a trip to the indoor pools.
  5. Don’t be afraid to incorporate the technology. There are more opportunities now than ever to engage in physical activity through the use of Wii games, or even virtual reality. Pokemon Go! was an extremely popular option, some wore out the soles on their shoes searching their local neighbourhood to “catch ‘em all”. If you aren’t feeling tech savvy, achieving a daily step count of 10,000 or even encouraging an impromptu-dance party every morning can be the perfect complement to your active school holidays.

School holidays don’t have to be expensive but the more active they are, the better. Work towards having a holiday filled with a wide range of activities, but most importantly, ENJOY!

Suzanne graduated from Western Sydney University with a Bachelor of Health Science (Sports and Exercise Science) in 2015. She then went on to continue her studies at Macquarie University graduating from the Doctor of Physiotherapy post-graduate degree in June 2019.

Since graduating, Suzanne has worked in the local Penrith area in both private practice and Sports Physiotherapy. Suzanne has worked with sporting teams including Penrith District Netball Association, Mt Druitt Rangers (NPL), Penrith Valley Figure Skating Club, and local dance and cheer schools. 

Suzanne has a particular interest in working with artistic athletes including cheerleaders and dancers. She has a professional background in both cheer and dance and has previously worked as both a cheer coach and dance teacher. Suzanne’s previous experiences are an invaluable resource to her as a physiotherapist, as she has a thorough understanding of the level of physical fitness and skill acquisition that these athletes must have in order to be successful on stage and in competition.

Suzanne’s other areas of clinical interest reside in lower limb musculoskeletal injuries, spinal pathologies and women’s health.

Nathanial graduated as a physiotherapist in 2012 which saw him work in private practice and hospital settings gaining experience in all areas of physiotherapy including hand therapy, splinting/casting, pre/post-operative care, Men’s Health and general musculoskeletal, occupational and sports physiotherapy. Since then he has gone on to complete further studies in physiotherapy enabling him to be the only dual titled Musculoskeletal, Sports and Exercise Physiotherapist in Penrith.

Nathanial has a strong background in sports physiotherapy achieving accreditation with NSWIS as a service provider and working with many elite sports teams.

Nathanial has a particular interest in working with elite athletes, complex cases and in particular assessment and management of knee, hip and shoulder pain.

Andrea graduated from the Australian Catholic University completing her Bachelor of Exercise and Sports Science in 2018 and Master’s of Clinical Exercise Physiology in 2020. After graduating she attained accreditation with ESSA as an Exercise Physiologist.

During her studies she gained clinical experience in both hospital and private practice settings, working in the cardiac rehabilitation program, heart failure service and mental health unit at Nepean Hospital. And at the ACU Exercise and Lifestyle Clinic working with clients with neurological conditions, cancer and chronic musculoskeletal injuries.

Since graduating, Andrea enjoys working with a variety of clients. She has a particular interest in treating musculoskeletal injuries and neurological conditions, striving to help people increase their functional capacity to get them back to work, sport or the things they love doing.