Keep Them Active And Healthy : Fun Exercises For Kids

Are you aware that only a quarter of all children in the world get the necessary 60 minutes of physical activity each day? This figure declines rapidly with age and grade level, highlighting how crucial it is for families to make exercise an integral part of their lives. To inspire your kids to stay healthy and active, here are some enjoyable and fun exercises for kids they can incorporate into their daily activities!



Why exercise?

When adults contemplate working out, they typically conjure up images of pumping iron in the gym or pounding away on a treadmill. However, for kids – exercise is synonymous with having fun! Whether it’s attending physical education classes at school, taking part in recess activities and team sports such as soccer or dancing class, cycling around town, or simply playing tag – exercise becomes an integral component of childhood.

There’s nothing better than giving your kids the opportunity to nourish their minds and bodies! Regular exercise is part of a healthy lifestyle for children as it lays the foundation for future healthy habits. It can also decrease the risk of becoming overweight in adulthood or developing type 2 diabetes.

Everyone can benefit from regular exercise. Active kids will have the following:

  • stronger muscles and bones
  • leaner bodies
  • less risk of becoming overweight
  • a lower chance of getting type 2 diabetes
  • lower blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels
  • a better outlook on life

Regular physical movement not only positively impacts one’s health but also enhances sleep quality. In addition, it is known to improve academic performance in young individuals as well as reduce the risk of developing depression and increase their agility when confronted with daily tasks like running for a bus or studying for an exam. Moreover, staying active often has a positive effect on mental well-being!

Elements of Fitness

If you’ve ever watched kids on a playground, you’ve seen the three elements of fitness in action when they:

  1. run away from the kid who’s “it” (endurance)
  2. cross the monkey bars (strength)
  3. bend down to tie their shoes (flexibility)

Parents should encourage their kids to do a variety of activities so that they can work on all these.


Regular aerobic activity helps kids build endurance, strengthens their hearts, and increases the body’s capacity to circulate oxygen throughout all its cells. Aerobic exercise requires large muscles to move quickly while the heart rate accelerates and breathing becomes heavier. All of this contributes to improved cardiovascular health for children and adults alike!

Aerobic exercise can be fun for both adults and kids. Aerobic activities include:

  • basketball
  • bicycling
  • ice skating
  • inline skating
  • soccer
  • swimming
  • tennis
  • walking
  • jogging
  • running


Enhancing strength does not have to be confined exclusively to weightlifting. Kids can also perform push-ups, stomach crunches, pull-ups and other exercises that help shape and fortify muscle groups. Additionally, activities such as climbing trees, handstands and wrestling are great for improving overall muscular power. Moreover, vigorous aerobic movements like running races or hopping routines assist in developing strong bones too!


Adding stretching exercises to your child’s routine can help them develop more flexible muscles and joints, giving them the freedom of movement to do tasks with ease. Everyday opportunities for children to improve their flexibility come in simple forms, such as reaching for a toy or using acrobatic moves such as splits or cartwheels. Dance, yoga, and martial arts are also excellent ways for kids to build their suppleness and keep active.

Exercises to get Kids Moving

Here are eight easy and fun exercises for kids and tips to incorporate them into your child’s day.


fun running for kidsRunning is the most effortless form of exercise for kids and their unending energy. It can be done inside or outside, in a gymnasium, hallways, even around a big table – wherever! Moreover, running can be combined with other activities into exciting games like relay races to make it more enjoyable. In short, there’s no limit to how much fun your children can have while exercising through running.

Shake up your running routine by having kids switch between skipping, running in place with fast feet (feet close to the ground), high knees (lifting alternating knees towards their chest at each step), and even butt kicks (kicking heels towards bums on alternate steps). These movement patterns will help improve muscles and coordination as it forces them to think faster when changing direction side-to-side or reversing.


Jumping is another fundamental skill that builds on bouncing, which children typically are able to do by 18 months. Like running, jumping also helps develop balance and coordination while strengthening leg and core muscles.

There is a study of boys aged 10 to 12 where one group completed a jump rope training program three times a week, while the other completed a regular physical education program without jumping rope. The jump rope group gained more strength and endurance over a 10-week period than the group that did not complete a jump rope program.

Take your fitness to new heights with these simple exercises that will get your feet off the ground! Jumping is a great way to build muscle strength, endurance and cardiovascular fitness. What’s more? You can have an exciting time challenging friends, siblings or even adults who could jump above everyone else.

Fun jumps for kids to try include:

  • Criss-cross feet: Jump straight up, then cross one foot in front of the other; on the next jump, switch feet and continue.
  • Hurdle hops: Jump side-to-side or front-to-back over a pretend hurdle.
  • Jumping jacks: Stretch arms and legs out to the side like a starfish while jumping; on the second jump, return arms to sides and legs to center on the landing.
  • One-foot hops: Lift one knee and jump on the standing leg; alternate. (This is a great balance challenge, too.)
  • Tuck jumps: Bend knees and lift heels high while jumping.
  • Trampoline exercises: The use of this workout equipment is just like playing outdoors on a playground!



Skipping can be a fun form of aerobic activity that can challenge balance and coordination skills.

Some skipping games to try include:

  • Hopscotch: Gather up some chalk or masking tape and draw a hopscotch board featuring several numbered squares. There are endless options for playing the game; in essence, one individual throws a small object (e.g., beanbag) onto one of the squares and then attempts to traverse through the course without touching that square. It’s an exciting challenge perfect for any age!
  • Jumping rope: Ignite a friendly competition by challenging your kids to see who can jump rope the longest or get the most skips in a designated amount of time. To make it even more stimulating, you could ask them to go forward and back while they’re jumping rope!
  • Obstacle course: Create an exciting obstacle course from accessible items like a chair to go around and a pot to jump over. Provide your kids with the challenge of beating their own personal best time as they race against the timer!
  • Skipping tag: Switch up the classic game of tag by having everyone skip instead of running. Spice it up even more by hopping on one foot, moving around on all fours or whatever way you can think of!


Bear crawls

fun bear crawls for kidsThe bear crawl is a fantastic full-body workout for kids that helps improve strength and coordination. To do it, children must get on all fours with their bellies facing the ground—the opposite of the crab crawl! Aside from being an exciting exercise, this movement encourages your child to use their limbs and core muscles as well.

Start by having your kids practice the bear crawl until they have it down to a science, and then work their way up to more involved games like obstacle courses or races. If done with caution, they can even take turns leaping over one another in this pose. With these exercises, you’ll find that your children’s agility will soar!

Unleash the inner bear within your small children by tapping into their vivid imaginations. Instruct them to transform themselves into bears and imagine they are moving around a forest, scavenging for food or attempting to capture another animal. Bear crawls have never been more fun!

Crab walk

Strengthening coordination is simple with crab walks, a muscle-building exercise that engages multiple muscles and makes for an exciting activity. Children can take advantage of this playful workout to gain core and arm strength, as well as improve endurance – making it even more beneficial than bear crawls!

To get your children to learn this movement, begin by teaching them how to lift their torso and tummy while using both hands and feet on the ground with bent knees. Afterwards, encourage a little healthy competition between siblings or peers by presenting fun challenges while they move in that same pose.

Squats and Lunges

Strengthen your child’s leg muscles with fun, simple exercises such as forward, backward, and side lunges, plus classic squats. Turn it into an interactive game by timing them to complete a certain number of repetitions in 30-second intervals while making sure they keep the right form; their knees should be aligned with their feet and not bent too deeply. These activities will give kids a strong foundation for all kinds of sports or fitness routines!

If you have toddlers, entice them to do squats by placing a toy right in front of them. To engage older children, make it into a game and see which one can jump the highest! This exercise is sure to bring out enthusiasm while encouraging physical activity as well.

Yoga and Stretching

Yoga poses can be a fun and simple way for kids to exercise. Yoga is a great form of exercise to build strength and flexibility and promote mindfulness and deep breathing, which can reduce stress. A few easy and fun poses for kids to try to include Tree Pose, Downward-Facing Dog, Upward-Facing Dog, Cobra, Child’s Pose, and Happy Baby.

Follow up with some simple stretches to keep muscles strong and healthy when you’re through. A stretching sequence and cool-down can also help transition kids into a more relaxed state post-workout and help prevent injuries.

Stretches to try include side stretch, hamstring stretch, fingers-to-toes, arm circles, arms to the sky, calf stretch, and runner’s stretch.

Obstacle Course/ Exercise Game

To make exercise more fun for kids, turn it into a game. Here are some ideas.

  • Corners: To make this game more engaging, assign each child their own designated corner and have them run around the room in a circle. On your cue, they should return to “home” and complete some basic exercises (for example, five jumping jacks or thirty seconds of planking). Adding an extra layer of fun by allowing kids to choose which exercise is done in every corner will help keep them engaged throughout the duration of the game!
  • Go back and hit it: As soon as the race begins, children in designated lanes dash forward. When “back” is called out, they’ll change direction and run towards their starting position. Finally, with a prompt of “hit it!”, kids can select another skill to incorporate into their routine – be it a tuck jump or squat! Giving them control over this decision gives your young racers added purpose and motivation throughout the competition.
  • Squat relay: Have the kids line up on opposite sides of the room, facing each other. On “go,” they should rush to meet in the center and do three squats while giving one another double-handed high-fives between each rep. After that, they can go back to their starting positions and start again! The emphasis is on socialization and physical activities – if you have a large group, why not switch it up by having them shift sideways during reps, so everyone gets an opportunity to make new friends?
  • Traffic: With this fun and creative “Red Light, Green Light” variation, kids can do much more than just stop and start at red and green lights. At yellow lights, they can shuffle to the side! For speed bumps, why not do bunny hops? Link elbows with a partner for an imaginary carpool – or gallop when there’s a ‘deer crossing!’ Why not make up some of your own moves with your little ones today?


Ball Games

fun ball games for kidsLet’s admit it – When it comes to kids, any activity that involves a ball is sure to catch their attention. Playing with balls can be an amazing form of exercise for them – combining aerobic activity, balance and coordination practice into one fun experience! Here are a few indoor games you don’t need extra space for:

  • Tossing balls into laundry baskets
  • Hitting balls at a target with a household object
  • Catching balls with a plastic mixing bowl
  • Throwing, rolling, or kicking a ball against the wall

Other ideas include dribbling, passing, and rolling a ball back and forth between partners.

Parents should always provide their children with a secure environment in which to play, allowing ample distance from fragile objects. Soft balls like squishy yoga balls, foam balls or bean bags are recommended when playing indoors as they help prevent any harm. Moreover, if your child is still honing their coordination skills or you intend on using small and hard sporting equipment, protective gear should be worn for maximum safety.

To promote healthy lifestyles for kids and teenagers, it’s essential to get them at least an hour of aerobic exercise daily and their bodies to strength train three times per week. You can integrate different exercises into imaginative games or activities to make the process more fun and enjoyable. Furthermore, instead of trying to push a certain regimen on them that they may not be interested in, let your children fully explore what pursuits they already enjoy! Encourage free play outside; involve yourself with outdoor exploration and sports/games that excite them – these are all excellent methods to motivate physical activity amongst minors.