In today’s age of smartphones, video games, and YouTube, getting kids away from their screens can sometimes be a challenge. At Elite, we encourage parents to start the healthy habit of keeping kids active early, so that they form the habit and grow to love an active lifestyle. So how do you start? Well, kids like to have fun, so we suggest choosing activities for kids that are so much fun they don’t even realize that they’re exercising. We’ve put together a list of our favorite exercise games and activities for kids that will keep them moving, and have them giggling the whole way through.
1. Timed Scavenger Hunt
Make a list of obscure items for your kids to find around the house or yard, then start a timer and set them loose. The first child (or team) to return to you once they have found all the items on their list wins! Since the hunt is timed, it will encourage the kids to move faster. Depending on what kind of items you send the kids out hunting for, there could be climbing, crawling, or running involved; all of which are great activities for kids to have fun, use their whole body, and burn energy.
2. Red Light, Green Light
To play, one person is chosen to be the traffic cop. All the players stand on the starting line and the traffic cop has his back to the rest of the players. When he says “green light,” players try to run to the finish line. When the traffic cop says “red light,” he turns around and players have to stop in their tracks. If the traffic cop catches a player moving, he sends them back to the starting line. The first person to cross the finish line wins and becomes the new traffic cop.
We know what you’re thinking; that’s just a board game from when we were kids! But here’s the thing: everyone in the family can get involved in this and you will likely end up using muscles that you haven’t thought about in a while. There’s a strong focus on balance, and laughs are pretty much guaranteed by the end of the game.
4. Obstacle Course
Make an obstacle course in your backyard out of hoses, lawn furniture, yard toys, tree houses…most anything you have around. Create a course that has your kids jumping over sandboxes, running along a curvy hose, climbing over large objects, or crawling underneath chairs or other low items. Add an extra challenge by turning it into a competition and timing it. Rainy day? You can make an indoor obstacle course with furniture and toys too!
5. Jump Rope
Hop, skip, and double-dutch your kids right into fitness fun. Jumping rope uses a lot of different muscles, and is actually more physically demanding than it looks. If you want to add a little creative fun for your kids while they jump, sing some fun jump rope rhymes with your kids while they jump.
6. Animal Races
Activities for kids that are both fun and use the whole body are big wins in the kid fitness department. Races that involve more than just running are loads of fun, and even a bit goofy. Bunny hop, frog jump, and duck, crab or bear walk races will keep you and the kids chuckling all the while working just about every muscle in their bodies.
7. Jumping Jacks
Jumping jacks are great for exercising your arms and legs, and require coordination and stamina. Since they are a fairly easy exercise, they are perfect for kids of any age!
Grab an old sheet and have fun with the gym-time favorite right at home. Have everyone grab and end, fan the sheet upwards, and run underneath before it comes back down. Add a little extra fun by doing it at night and having flashlights underneath.
9. Dance Party
Who doesn’t like to shake their groove thang a little bit once in a while? Make a playlist of your favorite songs and dance the night away. You’ll be surprised at how much endurance you’ll need to keep on dancing. Make it a contest to see who can dance the longest!
10. Balloon Ball
Designate a playing area and bat the balloon around with the goal of never having it touch the floor/ground. If you’re tight on space, grab a couple of fly swatters and play balloon tennis.
11. Follow the Leader
Have your kids follow you around the house or yard. Be sure to mix up the pace and add energetic movements like jumping, stomping, tip-toeing, squatting, crawling, etc. Everyone will have loads of fun, and you’re likely to get as good of a workout as the kids!
Blow bubbles for your kids and have them try to pop them all before they reach the ground. If you run out of air before your kids are tuckered out, grab some bubble wrap and let them jump up and down on it until all the bubbles are popped.
13. Parent Pushover
Plant your feet firmly and see if your kids can push you over. If you move your feet, they win. If you have younger littles, stand on just one foot to make it a little easier for them.
When thinking of fun activities for kids, Hopscotch is an all-time favorite across generations. This tried and true, time-tested game helps kids master body control and builds strength, balance, and eye/hand coordination. The best part is that all you need is some chalk and a rock to play.
15. Pillow Fights
When’s the last time you had a pillow fight? Step back into the days of your childhood and work up a sweat with your kids with nothing but a couple of pillows and a lot of laughs.
Elite has a great place for your kids to be active in a safe and secure environment. We invite you to come check out the awesome multi-purpose sports & games facility at our Elite Sports Club – River Glen location, called The Quad. There are tons of things for your child to participate in to keep them entertained for hours!
This information is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent any disease. All material in this article is provided for educational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, exercise, or other health program.