Kids & Exercise

February 12th, 2013 posted by Jenny Wanderscheid

Over the summer vacation, it is very easy for our children to become sedentary. The weather is hot, is some cases dangerously so, and children just don’t want to play outside. So what does that leave? Playstation, Nintendo and computers. Keep your school aged children in shape with these exercises disguised as fun!


Animal walks – to music have the children move like various animals.

Fortune Water Ball Promote manual dexterity, fine motor skills, visual tracking, creative play with the Fortune Water Ball


Bouncing balls – give children lots of opportunities with many sizes of balls. Also Bean bags-throw the beanbag and catch it. Walk around with it on your head, lay it on your foot, elbow, shoulder, etc.


Clap 2-3-4-5-6-7-8. Try chanting numbers while waiting in line, have the children mimic your pattern.


Dance to soft music. Try up and down movements as you move.


Elephant walk: “Can you make your feet big and slow and heavy while you swing your trunk?”


Fly, flutter, and float. Give children feathers to hold and wave or toss and watch how they flutter to the ground. Encourage them to imitate a feather!


Glide and gallop. Glide side to side with one foot leading and the other moving to meet it and switch to gallop.

Gibby the Gibborang: Safari Exercise Video for Kids (1996) Gibby the Gibborang: Safari Exercise Video for Kids (1996) Click here for more details.


Hopscotch: Use chalk to mark an area outdoors or masking tape indoors and let children be challenged as they hop along on one foot and then on two.


Ice fun in winter: Try “ice skating” by placing paper plates under feet and sliding across the carpet.


Jumping over blocks, into hoops, from carpet mat to carpet mat, and so on provides a great indoor obstacle course.


Kookaburra: what is it? Try to find a picture of this bird and share this favorite song. (Kumbaya too)


Leap frog is a great indoor or outdoor game that many have forgotten from the past. Leaping across the room to music is also great fun.


March!! Make homemade maracas and march to Mozart music!


Nutcracker. Tchaikovsky’s music is a natural for all kinds of movements!!

Fit Kids Brand New! Click here for more information.


Over/under, out/in: it’s time to explore opposites. Hap Palmer’s “Circle Game” contains many opposites.


Pathways can be explored as children move from one area to another. Move in a straight, zigzag, or curved path.


Quickly, quietly, with a quiver – how many ways can you move? Practice and the brainstorm a chart of all the ways children can think of to move.


Ribbon dancing!! (my favorite) Make ribbons from streamers stapled to straws or build a collection from ribbon scraps you have around home. The ways children move to various types of music are amazing.


Scarves are especially great with classical music. Suggest places for the scarves – in front, to the side, above below, between.


Tambourines can set the tempo to move around the room. Tap quickly and lightly for fast small steps; loud and slow for large slow steps.


Under the umbrella. Have children walk a masking tape tightrope as they use a small umbrella for balance like in the circus!!


Vary your instructions. Speak very quietly or very slowly. Use adjectives and add numbers (take five very small steps). (I also do some instructions in sign language since my children are learning to sign.)


Wheels on the bus is a favorite. Try it using a vehicle besides a bus and see what wacky variations you can come up with!


X marks the spot. Place a number of masking tape X’s on the floor. Children can have a treasure hunt, find the spot, “dig” lift out buried treasure and opening it. What did you find?


Yarn. Have the children make shapes on the floor with their yarn and ask them to step inside their shape, walk on their shape, make their shape disappear, etc.


Zoo animals. Let’s all move like monkeys!, etc.

about the author Jenny Wanderscheid is a 29 year old WAHM and the creator of the ChildFun Family Website Her and her husband Rick are raising their kids with love, laughter and light in Southern Minnesota. Sign up to receive her weekly newsletter filled with new parenting articles, craft ideas, contests, recipes and new parenting message boards. To subscribe, send a blank email to [email protected]

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