Posts Tagged ‘stretching exercises’

Fun Fitness Ideas for Kids

Thursday, November 3rd, 2011


With the holidays quickly approaching there is bound to be lots of extra sweets in your child(ren)’s future. Unhealthy foods combined with the colder indoor weather can make it all too easy for kids to not get their physical needs met. Here are some kid-approved fun ways to be active indoors and burn off some of the sugar induced energy.

Good Ol’ Simon Says
You probably remember this game from your own childhood. Designate someone as “Simon” and have him/her give directions of various physical activities such as jump up and down, spin around, hop on one foot, etc. Depending on the age of your kids, you can modify the rules accordingly. Also be sure to encourage your child to take a turn as Simon, because we all know how much fun it is for kids to call the shots!

Dance Party
Put on some music, turn it up loud, and get funky! This is one of my kids’ favorite activities. Have fun, be silly, and move your body! You can also play Freeze Dance. When the music stops, you freeze and hold the position until the music starts again. This is a sure fire way to get kids to laugh! You can encourage kids to dance free style and express themselves through movement. Or another idea is to teach them a very simple choreographed dance. For example I recently taught my kids the Cha-Cha slide and they had a blast with it. You can even have them come up with fun costumes to dance in or props to dance with such as scarves or a hat and cane.

Build Obstacle Courses
Crawl under tables, jump over pillows, crabwalk across the floor…whatever you can think of to create a fun challenge with your kids. Incorporate props to go over, under, around, etc. Another way to have fun with it is to encourage your child to become a certain kind of animal as they navigate the obstacle course. For example think of how differently a tiger, a snake, or a bird would complete the obstacle course.

Boot Camp
Conduct a mini “boot camp” style class with your kids. Teach them how to do jumping jacks, squats, leg lifts, somersaults, stretches etc. This can also challenge their memory and math skills if you tell them a series of exercises to do such as “20 jumping jacks, 10 squats, and 5 leg lifts on each side”. My kids love when I do this type of boot camp with them. Plus I get a workout in too!

Extend the fitness fun with an art activity
Whenever my husband or I run a race, we are given a medal for participation. Our boys enjoy playing with our collection of medals. They even have a few of their own from family and kid races they have participated in. We recently did an art activity where they made their own medals. It was super fun and super easy! The kids were really excited about their homemade medals. You could make them with your children and incorporate them into some of the fitness activities suggested above. For example after having a dance party, each family member could be awarded a medal for their dancing skills.

Aluminum Foil
Any type of collage material (buttons, glitter, pom-poms, stickers, etc)

1. Trace and cut a circle out of the cardboard
2. Cover circle with a piece of aluminum foil
3. Punch a hole at the top and thread ribbon through. Tie ribbon ends together.
4. Encourage your child to decorate their medal any way they desire

While it’s hard to be stuck indoors during the colder weather, you can be creative and find fun ways to encourage your children to continue to engage in physical activity!

What indoor gross motor activities does your child enjoy? Would love to hear some ideas from readers!


PS. Tomorrow will be the first Friday post in an 8 week series that examine the 8 parenting principles from Attachment Parenting International. The first one is: Prepare for Pregnancy, Birth, and Parenting.