Getting children to exercise can be challenging. But there’s no need to stick to run-of-the-mill, boring exercises like jumping jacks, push-ups and sprints. Here is a list of some fun and creative fitness activities for kids that will get them moving in no time at all.
Go on a bear hunt
Did you ever sing the classic bonfire song at summer camp, “I’m Going on a Bear Hunt”? While this song can easily be sung while sitting on a tree stump at camp, there’s also opportunity to make the whole song more active. Act out the different motions: swim across the lake, climb up the tree and stomp over the bridge. This activity gets especially entertaining when you’re scurrying away from the bear at the end.
Play follow the leader
This classic game never gets old, and you don’t need any equipment to play. Let your kiddos take turns being the leader, directing the others to match their every move. Encourage them to get active by hopping, skipping, crawling, shuffling and using their imaginations.
Have a dance party
Pop in your favorite tunes, crank up the volume and get moving and grooving! For extra fun, kill the lights and turn on some fun lighting, like a disco ball or some lava lamps. Kids can compete for best dance move, or you can simply make up a dance to an entire song.
If you have hard surfaces in your house, put on some socks and slide around. Kids can practice spinning and seeing who can slide the farthest. Pretend you are professional ice skaters in the middle of a frozen pond in the winter. Be careful of corners!
Yoga Simon Says
Play Simon Says with twist and a stretch. Use a list of simple yoga positions and get kids to follow your move, but only when Simon Says! This activity will be fun for both you and the kids and beyond the benefits of flexibility, balance and self-control you get an opportunity to bond and connect with your children while modeling healthy habits as an enjoyable family activity.
Make an obstacle course
Using couch cushions, pots and pans, and plenty of other household objects, construct an engaging and challenging obstacle course. Kids can climb under blankets stretched between the couch and coffee table, or they can somersault across the living room. Take this kind of play outside if you want more room to move around.
Draw a maze on the driveway
Chalk can help you create beautiful masterpieces, but it can also assist in some fun fitness activities. Draw an elaborate, detailed maze all over the driveway, then let your little ones run (or race) through it! This activity encourages fitness and creativity at the same time!
Use your imaginations to come up with different types of animal walks! Imitate bears walking, or run fast like a cheetah. Waddle like a penguin, or pretend to swim through the ocean like a dolphin.
Have pillow fight
It’s an age-old activity, and pretty much every little kid’s dream! We recommend using pillows other than the feather-filled versions, unless you enjoy having a house covered in feathers.
Red light, green light
Play the “red light, green light” game in the backyard, and help kids exercise and learn about following directions. Add color visuals by making a red or green sign to help children learn about color as well!
What could be better than fun exercises for kids that benefit both their bodies and your house? Pick a room or assign the whole house and see which kid can clean up the most. This exercise is practical enough that you could employ a “clean-up race” in your kids’ rooms every day.
Go for a hike or nature walk
Who says walking long distances has to be boring? Pick a scenic trail, strap on your hiking boots and explore the outdoors! If you don’t live in a mountainous area, go for a nature walk in a park, by a pond, or in the woods and investigate the landscape. Do a little research beforehand, and the exercise doubles as an academic lesson.
Push dad or mom over
Stand firmly on the ground and see if your kids can push you over! This works best if you have little kids—otherwise, you might actually get pummeled. This exercise inevitably ends in giggles as kids push and pull, trying to budge you from your iron stance.
Wheelbarrow or crab walk races
These tough, yet funny positions are both fun to attempt and hilarious to watch. Have kids race from one end of the yard to another, or time a pair to see how long it takes them to wheelbarrow around the house three times.