Are you looking for some new ways to make fitness fun for your kids? Look no further! If your goal is to get your kids off the couch and away from the tv or their tablets, here are some fun ways to get them moving.
As a mom and a personal trainer, I’m always looking for new ways to keep my kids active without pushing them to do one thing or another. The key to keeping younger kids active is keeping them busy and entertained. Some days, this is easy and takes no effort, while others are like pulling teeth. The most important thing about keeping kids active is making it fun and teaching them why it’s important!
Why is Fitness Important for Kids?
According to the CDC, active kids:
- have been associated with high test scores in school – especially math and reading.
- improve their cardiovascular fitness.
- decrease their risk of anxiety and depression.
- are less likely to become obese in childhood and beyond.
- promotes self-efficacy with regard to health and self-image.
- improve behavior in the classroom.
- decrease the risk for developing conditions like heart disease.
- are more likely to become active adults!
These are just a few of many reasons. It’s our job as parents to introduce a healthy lifestyle to our kids. Now let’s take a look at several different ways to make fitness fun for kids!
How to Make Fitness Fun for Kids
As we spend more and more time plugged in and settled on the couch, it’s increasingly important that we make fitness a fun activity for kids. When children learn from your example, they will lead more active lifestyles and set themselves up for a lifetime of cardiovascular health.
Here are some ways to make fitness fun for kids!
Games to Make Fitness Fun
What kinds of games do you or your kids like to play? Get everyone together outside for a game to get the whole family up and moving in a fun way. Here are some ideas for different types of games.
While the grill is heating up, this is a good time to get the family active in a backyard game of soccer, tag, bean bag toss, or even bocce ball. All are easy, old-fashioned fun that can be enjoyed by every member of the family.
Every year on Thanksgiving, my dad comes up with a series of backyard games and events for my siblings and our kids. The main purpose is to get all of us out of the house while my mom is trying to cook, but it is also a great way to get everyone up and moving before the big feast! Getting everyone out and active also shows our kids balance in life. Since we’re about to have a huge feast, it’s important to move our bodies and be active!
If you’re looking for some inspiration, you can take a look at these 25 low prep backyard activities that are sure to keep your kids active for a while. If you want to stretch out the fun, do some of them with your kids!
Whether you have a few kids over after school or a whole birthday party full of energetic kids, they’ll enjoy playing any of these running games like tag, spider, red rover, freeze tag, or even kick the can.
Related Post: 50+ Screen Free Activities for Kids
Driveway Games and Activities
Younger kids might enjoy hopscotch, jumping rope, riding a big wheel, or whirling in a hula hoop. (We love this adjustable hula hoop!) An energetic eight-year-old could love jumping up and down on a pogo stick or trying her hand at walking on stilts. (These bucket stilts are a great and inexpensive way to learn!)
Your older daredevil might enjoy riding a scooter or a skateboard, or possibly burning 800 calories per hour rollerblading! Older kids might also enjoy four square, basketball, and similar games such as PIG or HORSE. These are great games to get started on your driveway for other kids on the street to join in!
Tons of games involve a ball! If your children are active in sports, they’ll likely gravitate towards the sport they love to play. Take the time to practice with them to help grow their love for the activity and to increase their activity!
Ball games are also a great way to introduce other sports and activities to your kids. Here are just a few ways to incorporate balls into the fun: toss a baseball or football, play volleyball, tetherball, kick a soccer ball, or play bocce ball.
You can make being physically active an educational game as well! There are lots of different games out there like the Spell Your Name Game. You can grab a free printable here and practice spelling names for younger kids or more advanced words for older kids. It’s a great way to get in spelling word practice while being active at the same time!
Seasonal Fitness Activities for Kids
I understand that the weather is not kind everywhere. Some seasons are easier to be outside than others, and it really varies based on where you live. Here are some seasonal-specific activities to make fitness fun for kids!
Whether you sign your kids up for swimming lessons, join the swim team, or just take frequent trips to your local pool or lake, swimming is a refreshing way to exercise. Kids can play water games galore from Marco Polo to splash-your-brother-until-he’s-after-you. It’s all great exercise!
Family bike rides can be a great way to explore your neighborhood and get exercise at the same time. Kids appreciate being able to power themselves to new places and appreciate the autonomy of a bike. It’s also a great introduction to green transportation!
Related Post: Fun At Home Summer Activities for kids
Looking through this list, an awful lot of this assumes good weather. However, there are many inside activities that make fitness fun for kids as well as plenty of winter outdoor activities.
Inside, join a local gym or check if your neighborhood school offers weekend hours at their facilities. Running around the track, playing indoor basketball or swimming are all great activities. What about dance classes? Fencing? Zumba or aerobics can be a fun way to bond with your kids while getting some fitness fun.
Outdoors, have kids get together for a good old-fashioned snowball fight. Help your kids build snow forts. Consider sledding, or try a toboggan. Climbing back up to the top of the hill is definitely a physical challenge that is worth it to kids as they get the thrill of sliding down afterward! You can also try snowboarding, cross-country skiing, or snowshoeing. Snowshoeing is a fun way to make it across the tundra from your yard to the school bus stop.
Wrapping up Fun Fitness for Kids
Whether it’s sunny or rainy, hot or cold, there are plenty of activities you and your family can do to make fitness fun! Consider stepping out of your comfort zone and try some new games and activities. Who knows what your kids will enjoy until you try it.
Make being active a family affair to set good examples for your children. Not only will you get them off the couch and active, but you’ll be doing the same for yourself!
Love these ideas! I take my daughter running with me and she loves it, there are so many benefits for kids learning healthy habits and exercising.
Running or walking with your kids such a great way to introduce fitness to them at a young age! I’ve done the same with mine and they love it!
It really is so important to make fitness an organic part of kids’ lives early on! These are some activity options.
Thank you and I agree! Instilling a love of movement and excitement for activity from the start will help as they get older and get to make their own fitness decisions.