Encouraging Children to Exercise
Encouraging your kids to get off devices and get active can be a difficult task in this technology world.
However, introducing kid exercise activities to your children in short bursts can help!
With that said, I’ve totally got you covered for simple at-home kid exercises and on-the-go homeschool PE ideas.
Check out these 10 simple ways to encourage your kiddos to get up and work their muscles during your busy homeschool day or over their extended school breaks.
10 Simple Kid Exercise Activities
If you are looking for a simple way to add physical fitness to your child’s homeschool day or need something simple to encourage your kiddos to stay off devices over the summer months, consider trying these fun activities!
Mix things up and encourage active fun by incorporating some of these simple kid’s workout routines into your busy schedule.
Hold a Competition
Okay, this first one is a fun one, you guys!
If you have competitive kiddos (like me), you will totally want to try this one out.
My kids absolutely love being outdoors as much as possible.
Unfortunately, though, it simply isn’t always an option!
When it’s rainy or frigid and being outside is off the table, they tend to get fidgety and moody.
So, if your kids are anything like mine, this simple activity is a must.
For the days we find ourselves stuck indoors, I simply pick a couple of exercises and we all compete against each other right there in the living room!
Some of our favorite go-to kid exercise activities are jumping jacks, crunches, or squats.
Ready to plan your own family competition?
Simply pick a few of your favorite exercises, set a timer for 2 minutes, and compete!
Such a fun activity, you guys!
We tend to do this 4-5 times, adding up to an awesome 8-10 minute workout for kids!
With that said, if you have super competitive children you might need to lay down some ground rules prior to the competition.
Practicing proper form and having a little self-control is always important, even during competitions!
The main goal is to work out, not get injured!
Set up a Race
While a race is technically a competition in itself, setting up a fun race for your kiddos is an outdoor variation to the competition mentioned above.
With that said, this fun activity does require a bit more space and time.
Whether you lean on a long stretch of road, take it to the high school track, or set it up in your large backyard, this fun idea is great for all ages!
As a mom of 2 boys, I totally understand the need for some healthy competition.
Who better to compete with than your kid brother, right?
We live in a small subdivision and have a nearby walking trail that I can see from my back deck.
So, when we are experiencing the mid-day lag and my boys need to get outside, we plan a quick race!
I have my boys line up at our back fence and my 5-year-old daughter (who stays behind with me) yells ‘On your mark, get set, GO!’.
I start the stopwatch on my phone and off they run.
We don’t really focus on who the winner is in this competition because we tend to compare their current time to their own previous time.
So in a sense, this competition is each child against themselves.
Plus, they get their heart rate up and are totally worn out when they get back inside which is a huge win in my book!
If you have little ones who want to race but don’t feel like this could work for them, simply adapt it.
Grab some fun cones and plan a relay race in your driveway instead.
With that said, my daughter typically plays outside or practices her spelling words while my older boys run and I keep an eye out for their return.
I could totally go with them and take my 5-year-old if I really wanted to
However, I usually just soak in a little Vitamin D, sip on some coffee, and enjoy a few moments of quiet.
Send Them on a Ride
My kids are avid bike riders, you guys!
I seriously think they would ride bikes all day if they could and to be completely honest, we’ve totally had those days.
There is nothing they love more than a mid-afternoon bike ride around the block after a difficult math lesson.
With that said, this is 100% a weather-permitting outdoor kid exercise activity.
Unfortunately in Kansas, we could have what feels like spring one day and freezing winter the next!
So, bike rides simply aren’t always an option.
It was literally in the 60s yesterday and we are preparing for some snow tonight, typical Midwest.
When applicable though, if you have older children that enjoy practicing their Independence, bike rides are totally where it’s at!
Littles can always ride around in the driveway or stick with Mom doing other simple outdoor activities while the big kids take a few laps around the block to get the blood flowing.
With that said, if you have older kids who are just beginning to venture out on their own, consider using walkie-talkies for this outdoor workout!
Encourage Them to Jump
If you have an outdoor trampoline setup, sending your kids out to jump as a part of their daily exercise routine is probably something you already utilize.
However, if you don’t have the option for an outdoor setup, you can totally lean on the use of a small exercise trampoline instead.
Kids think they are a blast and it can be a great cardio workout!
If kiddos get bored with regular jumping, you can take things up a notch by incorporating math or spelling into the workout.
My daughter absolutely loves it when we do this!
I typically grab some dice from our hefty game collection, let her role, then she gets to jump that many times!!
Not even joking! It really is that simple.
Practicing spelling words is a fun option as well.
When you add fun elements to your kid’s workout, it’s no longer just exercise — it becomes a game instead!
We also do 5-minute jumps where we all take turns jumping for 5 solid minutes without stopping.
This one definitely gets the heart rate up, which is always the end goal when you are trying to add a little cardio to your child’s homeschool routine.
Have a Dance Party
This is a family favorite and my kids never think of it as a workout!
It’s seriously so much fun, you guys!!
If we get outside in between lessons, dancing is always, always the answer!
Simply turn on some music and dance it out.
Sometimes we like to all do the same moves together, while other times we just go crazy.
You can seriously work up a sweat dancing with your kiddos, plus it’s totally fun!
If you want to take things up a notch, try doing Zumba instead!
You can easily check out discs from your local library or subscribe to an exercise channel, but our absolute favorite way to Zumba it out in our living room is by taking turns being the instructor.
No screens required.
This is such a blast and my kids can come up with some really crazy moves too!
Each kiddo picks a song and once everyone has had a turn being the dance instructor, the workout is done. Easy peasy!
Take Time to Stretch
This one is so good and incredibly simple!
Stretching is just really good for the body.
Not only does it help wake our bodies up, but it also gets the blood flowing and increases flexibility.
I know I feel so much better on days that I stretch first thing in the morning, so why wouldn’t my kiddos?
This simple kid exercise activity doesn’t have to take a full 10 minutes out of your day.
It can even be as little as 2-3 minutes if you’re extremely limited on time!
Stretching is a great thing to incorporate into your kiddo’s homeschool morning time.
However, it can also work be a great way to encourage them to move their body in between lessons.
I actually lean on this one a lot when it comes to my 5-year-old daughter.
My boys tend to join in from time to time as well.
It’s just a great, simple option when you don’t have the energy for an entire kid’s workout routine.
Stretching also doubles as a wonderful warm-up (or cool-down) to almost any cardio activity!
Lunge All Day
This one can be so hardcore, you guys.
When the snow is falling down and you’ve exhausted all your options for physical fitness, try encouraging your kids to lunge every time they need to get up for a specific period of time.
Thirsty for water? Do lunges to the kitchen and back.
Trip to the bathroom? You guessed it, more lunges.
While you can totally keep this simple by only doing this activity over a 2-hour period you can also stretch it out over the entire day instead!
I actually love to participate in this particular workout idea with my kiddos and we have definitely turned it into an all-day event.
Talk about burn, wowza!
Encourage Free Range Play
This might not sound exactly like a kid exercise activity, but I simply had to include it on this list!
Sometimes the best kid’s workout ideas come from the kids themeselves
My kids actually spent an entire summer day creating and playing a made-up game in our driveway.
They drew a ton of chalk circles stretching from one end of our driveway all the way to the other end.
Then, they simply took turns hopping from circle to circle. If they miss a circle, they start over.
While this exact game might not excite your kiddos quite like it did mine, you can easily plan a fun day of outdoor games or indoor games to keep the kiddos active and moving.
Consider trying an outdoor sidewalk chalk hopscotch game, the floor is lava for simple indoor fun, or play Simon Says with cardio activities such as jumping jacks or running in place.
Whatever game you choose, the end result should be the same.
The kids got up, they moved, they had fun.
This one is super simple, yet incredibly effective.
Plus, it’s a double-duty kid exercise activity!
To get started on this fun activity, simply pick a number and a handful of exercises to work through.
Then, practice this kid’s workout a few different ways to find your perfect fit.
First, try picking a low number, let’s say 7.
Then, simply pick out 7 different exercises and encourage your kiddos to do 7 reps each.
Next, try picking a high number, like 30 for example,
Then, chose 3 different exercises, doing 10 reps each, building up to 30 exercises total.
Not only do simplistic kid exercise activities like this promote strength building but they also perform a little double duty by encouraging kiddos to think & count!
If you’re looking for a super fun way to mix this one up even more, try incorporating your counting exercise into special events and days.
For example, we did 100 exercises during our 100th day of school celebration and it was such a blast, you guys!
We picked out 10 simple exercises (Our number for the day was obviously 100), and we did 10 reps of each exercise, hitting 100 total exercises/reps for the day.
Jumping jacks, squats, arm circles, and crunches were all involved. So fun!
Invest in equipment
Okay, I do understand that this may not be an option for everyone!
However, if your budget allows, this is a great way to fit kid exercise activities into your everyday routine.
With that said, you don’t need a ton of space or a large budget to create your own home gym.
We lean on our total gym multiple times a week for workouts and it has been such an amazing tool for the entire family!
My older boys enjoy working out for 5-10 minutes in between lessons during our homeschool day, I use it in the evening hours while watching TV, and even my 5-year-old uses it on occasion (with supervision of course).
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