With the uncertainty in the world right now, we all know it is important to keep our children active and engaged. It is also important for YOU to stay active! Today I am going to share ideas that will have you AND your kids breathing a little harder. These simple games, sports and activities will help you gain strength, coordination, and confidence all while having fun! Some of these ideas are pretty obvious, but sometimes even those are easy to forget about. I hope you enjoy this list of 20 Ways to Stay Active with your kids – At Home!
1. Go for a hike, or a nature walk
Hiking is great exercise for the whole family. In Minnesota state parks are currently still open for day use so this could be a great option. Depending on where you live the options will be different. You can also turn your own backyard into a hike by doing a nature hunt. I love creating these little hunts for my kiddos. Check out the pics below for ideas. Also, check out my blog on “The 10 First Things to Teach your Child about Hiking”
2. Learn to slackline
Slacklining is SO MUCH FUN. So if you have two strong trees in your yard seriously consider buying a slackline. It is a full body workout, and kids can do it too! I definitely recommend buying a line with a top training line. Check out my blog – “Beginners Guide to Slacklining with Kids” for a lot more info on this fun option!
3. Kids yoga
Kids yoga is an excellent way to bring a little calm and fun to the current situation. Today I am going to share two of my favorite distance learning yoga resources to use at home with your littles. I hope you enjoy!
The Adventures of Super Stretch Yoga
Supser Stretch Yoga is an excellent tool for children and definitely one of my favorites. I actually did my children’s yoga teacher training through them with teacher Jes Rosenberg and she is fantastic! She is extremly knowledgable about yoga and anatomy, and really just has so much to share. Learning from her you know you are learning from one of the best! Super Stretch offers a couple different options for teaching your children at home. They have a YouTube page with some great videos as well as a free app that has easy to follow along with poses. My children love the app and I often find them doing it on their own in their room. Check out their website to see all the amazing options they offer.
Cosmic Kids Yoga
Cosmic kids yoga is really fun. They also offer an app as well as a youtube channel. You can do a two week free trial of the app but after that there is a small fee. The videos are silly and a bit cheesy, but in the best way possible. Jamie, the teacher, is really engaging which makes it fabulous. Everything is filmed in front of a green screen and then awesome backgrounds are added, its really quite cool. Cosmic kids has A LOT of videos (over 400) to choose from, it is easy to find something your child will be interested in. For examples, my daughter loves the Minecraft themed classes, and they also have themes like Frozen, Spider Man, the Gruffalo, etc. Check out their website to learn all about them.
4. Make an obstacle course
Obstacle courses are a lot of fun. You will likely have more space for this in a yard, but it can also totally be done indoors. We sometimes set up an obstacle course that leads the kids from the living room to their bedrooms at bedtime! ha! The kids love it and it is an easy way to get them to bed at the time we want. You can use simple items from around the house/yard. Jump over pillows, through hula hoops, climb under a table, run around a tree, really anything will work! You can take turns timing each other or just the kids. Many kids will love using a timer and trying to get faster and faster!
5. Follow the leader
Follow the leader is a great game and a fun way to get a workout in while wearing out the kids. We usually just do this back and forth across the living room or between two trees in the yard so we know where to turn around.
Here are some ideas:
- Lunge walks
- Walk on toe
- Frog jumps
- Hop like a bunny
- Crab walk
- Run with high kness
- Run and kick butt
- Tuck jumps
- Long jumps
- Bear walk (all fours knees off ground)
- Hop on one foot
Really anything goes! Have fun with it! =)
6. Dance Party
Pretty simple! Put on some music and dance! This is a great way to move and body and have some fun. If your kids are like mine you will end up spinning them, lifting them, dipping them, and getting an overall great little workout!
7. Canoeing, Kayaking, Paddleboard
Lakes and rivers are a great way to get out in nature, while being able to maintain safe social distancing. If you are lucky enough to have this option definitely give it a try. Kids love riding along, and you can also begin to teach them to paddle at a very young age. Make sure you take safety precautions, such as knowing the details on the river or lake you plan to paddle on, and having proper equipment and life jackets. Paddling is a great workout and it also teaches you a lot about physics!
8. Juggling or Hacky sack
Both great for coordination and learning patience & persistence, learn to juggle together or introduce your kids to the fantastic game of hacky sack! These are two fun ways to stay active in a small space. Also, with how many times you drop the balls or hacky sack you will be doing a lot of bending, squatting, and this is great exercise!
Volleyball is another fun sport that doesn’t have to take up a ton of space. When the children are young start with a balloon and just play keep it in the air. As they get older you can introduce the set and bump with the balloon and then make the move to a real ball! You can do a lot with this sport, volley with each other to keep the ball in the air, or set how many bumps or set you can do alone in a row. Make it fun!
10. Tennis/ Pickleball/Badminton
Tennis, Pickleball, and badminton are great family sports. Depending on the amount of space you have to work with you can do quite a bit with these at home. When I was a kid we had a badminton court in our backyard in Northeast Minneapolis. We spent hours our there challenging each other, or seeing how many times we could get pass it back and fourth before the birdie dropped. Tennis or pickleball can be played in a driveway or in the street if its not a busy area. Also, you can play tennis or pickleball against your garage door or a large wooden board if you don’t have anyone to play with (you can also do this with multiple players)!
Skateboarding is another excellent option for a lot of fun. It is also a sport that can be started much younger than most people think. My four year old is loving it. As a parent, I still get really paranoid about him getting hurt. So definitely I recommend a helmet and knee/elbow pads. Also, when they are young start them out in the grass, its a great way to get used to the board and to just play. You can also play in the grass, trying kick flips and such. As you get comfortable move to the sidewalks or streets. You really don’t need much space to have fun. We typically go out to the street to play, but my husband can do a lot on the little slab of cement in front of our garage. Its quite impressive how much you can do in a small space!
12. Four Square/ Hop Scotch
Bring back the old playground classics! Four square and hop scotch are great exercise, great fun, and they hardly take up any space.
13. Jump Rope
Jump rope is an amazing cardio activity and there are so many ways to make it fun. You can each have your own rope to see how many jumps you can get, or you can go playground style and use three people, one jumping, two spinning the rope. If you only have two people just tie on side of the rope to a tree or pole. Make up fun challenges, jumping in circle, tuck jumps, running feet, double dutch, etc. Really anything goes here, maybe you even remember some old playground songs?! =)
14. Play Catch
Pretty much as simple as it gets, but sometimes forgotten. You can play catch with so many things, when they are young choose items they can easily grab, like bean bags and soft balls. As they get older switch to whatever works, baseballs, softballs, frisbees, footballs, etc. If your child isn’t as into catch with their hands, try with their feet! Kicking a soccer ball back and fourth is a lot of fun!
Biking is fun for all ages, from a child in a bike seat to biking alongside each other, find what works for your family. I love when my family bikes with me while I run and I look forward to more of it as they get older.
16. Handstand Contests/Challenges
I am a former gymnast and gymnastics coach, so of course I have to include handstand contests. You can make this work for any level. To start your kiddo on handstands have them stand with their back to the wall (or tree), set their hands on the ground and walk their feet up behind them so when they are in the handstand their belly is facing the wall. As they get more comfortable they can walk their hands in closer and eventually they will learn tot kick up the opposite direction, where they land with their back against the wall. At any age you can have them try to do a handstand while you count to any given number, or they can challenge a brother or sister to see who can stay up the longest. Once they are older/ more confident in thier handstands you can move them away from the wall and again count seconds or challenge each other to see who stays up the longest.
Basketball is another one that seems so obvious but maybe you forgot about it. I did, lol! My daughter came home from school one day (she’s in first grade) and was telling me about how frustrated she was that she couldn’t dribble in gym class. I felt awful! Teaching her basic basketball skills hadn’t even crossed my mind. Which is a bit weird, because we played basketball ALL THE TIME at my house when I was growing up. This is another sport that you don’t need much for. Sure a nice hoop would be great, but you can spend hours in your basement perfecting your dribbling skills, learning how to do different tricks, etc. Definitely don’t forget about basketball! =)
Another one I love from my own childhood. My family did A LOT of rollerblading. My brothers played street hockey with our neighbor kids, and we went on some pretty epic trails throughout the years. It was a lot of fun for the whole family and it is a GREAT workout. To start your child rollerblading have them simple try to take steps until they can turn those steps into a glide. You can also let them walk around in the grass or on a mat to get more comfortable. I also highly recommend a helmet, and knee/elbow pads for this one!
Get some plastic balls and start em’ young! Golfing is super fun for kids. They sell some great little plastic golf sets for toddlers and if they love it they will definitely love when they get their first set of real clubs. Golf can be started at a very young age, and since its a sport that takes time to perfect, you might as well start young! You can set up little challenges for them or just chip balls around your yard. Just be sure to teach them the most important rule…. Do not stand behind anyone who is about to swing! Keep your distance =)
Trampoline is another favorite of mine. Whether you have a big trampoline, or a small rebounder, you can have a lot of cardio fun. The most classic game is “add on” where you take turns doing a trick, and the next person adds on another skill, you continue until someone forgets the sequence. For younger kids you can make up challenges, like three butt bounces in a row, five tuck jumps., three straddle umps, etc. On a trampoline you are constantly getting a workout however you play!
I hope I gave you some ideas of how to have fun and stay active with your kids during this time. This is a great time to teach your kids some of your favorite hobbies and sports. Cherish the time together and learn something from it! Be sure to be safe while you play, as you do not want to end up at the doctor! Let me know what I missed! =)
Much Love and Happy Playtime,
*This post contains affiliate links, this means I receive a small commission for the sales made. I only recommend products I myself would buy. Thank you in advance.