I Like to Move It, Move It: 10 Healthy Exercise Activities for Kids

Does your child need help getting the recommended 60 minutes of moderate exercise daily?

Some kids naturally can’t sit still and get plenty of activity every day. Others fall into the group who have 6 hours of screen time a day and don’t move enough.

You know your child needs more exercise. But prying them away from their screens isn’t easy.

As an adult wanting to get fit, you might visit workout sites to get exercise at home. But kids don’t want to do 100 burpees or do crunches until their abs hurt.

How do kids get exercise? Through play!

Traditional exercise doesn’t feel like fun to most kids. Playing a game of tag, dancing along to a favorite song, or bouncing on a trampoline is a better fit for little exercisers. 

If you’re having trouble getting your kids to go outside and play, keep reading to explore fun exercise activities for kids.

1. Playground and Backyard Games

Traditional playground and backyard games keep kids moving and having fun. Tag is a simple option that doesn’t require any extra equipment. Gather the kids in the neighborhood to do relay races to keep the fun going.

Dig out the old backyard game equipment to keep things interesting. Ideas include bocce ball, badminton, croquet, horseshoes, and bean bag toss. Or teach your kids games from your childhood like hopscotch or H-O-R-S-E at your basketball hoop.

2. Obstacle Courses

Get creative with a homemade obstacle course in the backyard. You can use things you have around the house to set up obstacles. Arrange them in a big loop in the backyard.

Need some ideas for obstacles? Try these options:

  • Weaving through cones
  • Jumping over small boxes
  • Walking across a board balance beam
  • Crossing monkey bars 
  • Jumping through hula hoops
  • Going through a maze drawn with sidewalk chalk
  • Tossing a ball into a box

3. Home Trampoline

A trampoline for kids combines play and exercise into one backyard activity. Kids can bounce, jump, and flip for hours without realizing they’re getting exercise.  You can add basketball hoops and similar game activities to your trampoline for extra fun.  

Choose a sturdy trampoline to increase safety. Netting and padding around the trampoline also helps to keep your child safe. 

4. Active Play Places

Most communities have plenty of entertainment venues that keep kids active. Bowling, roller skating, trampoline parks, and mini golf are a few options. These venues are a great way to bond as a family and get exercise together.

Money saving sites like Groupon are a good place to find cheaper activities in your community. Stock up on deals so you’re ready for a fun family outing when you need a little exercise.

5. Nature Exploration

Let your kids get dirty, learn about the world, and get exercise with time spent in nature. A hike gets the whole family up close with nature while you burn calories.

If you live in the city, check out trails within driving distances for a quick escape. Or see how much nature you can find within the city. You might be surprised at how many bugs, flowers, and green spaces you find.

In your neighborhood, turn a walk into a game by looking for items of a certain color or that start with the letters of the alphabet. Look for different types of vehicles or buildings. 

6. Dance Party

Crank up the radio and show off your best moves. A dance party is a simple and fun way to get exercise. You can kick off the dance party anywhere just by playing music from your phone.

Don’t let your kids dance alone. Dancing is a fun way for you to get in your own workout. It’s also a good way to act silly and have a good time with your kids.

7. Gardening Work

Teach your child to tend the garden while squeezing in some fitness. Digging, squatting, pulling weeds, and harvesting veggies all count as exercise for kids. 

You can also get them involved in yard work to teach them responsibility and keep them active. Depending on their age, your kids can pick up sticks, pull weeds, and water plants. Teens can help with the mowing.

8. Individual or Group Sports

These days, communities and schools offer all types of team and individual sports options. Regular practices and competitions keep your child active every week. 

Does your child resist sports? It could be that you haven’t found the right fit yet. Explore different options to find something that fits your child’s personality.

Common team sports for kids include football, basketball, baseball, softball, soccer, and volleyball. If your child prefers individual sports, consider track, golf, gymnastics, dance, martial arts, swimming, biking, triathlons, tennis, or horseback riding.

Sports teach kids how to follow rules and how to manage competition. They also develop coordination, strength, stamina, and other physical benefits.

9. Playing With Pets

Fido needs a walk anyway. Why not enlist your child’s help to do it? 

Playing with pets is a good way to keep the furry family members happy. At the same time, your child gets needed exercise. 

If a walk around the block is boring, try a trip to the dog park. Encourage your child to play fetch with the dog or run around in the backyard together.

If you don’t own pets, your child could start a pet walking business for neighborhood dogs. It’s a good way to get exercise and earn a little extra money.

10. Friendly Competitions

Speak to your child’s competitive nature by challenging them to physical contests. It can be as simple as challenging your child to a race after dinner or seeing who can do the most jumping jacks.

If everyone in the family has a Fitbit or similar exercise tracker, set up a family competition to see who can get the most steps. Track steps every day for the week. At the end of the week, give the winner a prize or let the winner pick a fun family activity to do.

Explore Exercise Activities for Kids

What are your favorite ways to keep your kids active? The best exercise activities for kids are ones that don’t really feel like exercise. When they’re being active and having fun, they may not realize how healthy they’re being.

Leave us a comment to tell us how your kids get exercise. Then, check out more health topics to keep your whole family active and healthy.


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