It’s no secret that getting kids to exercise is challenging, especially when it’s too cold to go outside. But keeping them active and moving is essential to maintain their health and well-being. Luckily, there are plenty of indoor exercises that kids will love. Here are just a few examples.
1. Throw a Dance Party
Turn up the music and let the kids loose! They’ll have a blast dancing around the house and getting their heart rates up. Do they need more direction or prompting? These 10 Exciting Dance Games include the classic freeze dance and some new creative ones.
Just Dance, Dance, Dance Revolution, and other video games are fun ways to get kids moving and teach them new moves. You could also hop on Youtube for some dance-along videos from channels such as Kidz Bop, GoNoodle, or dance studios like Saskia’s Dansschool.
2. Build an Indoor Obstacle Course
Use furniture and other household items to create an obstacle course for the kids to navigate. They’ll have to use agility, balance, and coordination to reach the end. Parents’ How to Turn Your Living Room Into an Obstacle Course offers entertaining obstacle ideas for balance beams, tunnels, ball pits, and more. Plus, they remind us that building the course is half the fun and an active project on its own.
3. Plan an Indoor Scavenger Hunt
Hide small items around the house and give the kids a list of things to find. They’ll love the challenge of searching high and low for hidden treasures. Search Pinterest for indoor scavenger hunt printables, and remember to find ones with images for younger kids.
It doesn’t need to be Easter time to have an egg hunt. Pull out those plastic eggs, fill them with something fun, and hide them around the house. Add additional activity by putting in papers with exercises such as “do ten jumping jacks.” The kids will also love it if you let them take turns hiding the eggs.
4. Play the Classic Games
“Simon Says” is a favorite game that will get everyone moving. Take turns giving commands and see who can follow them the best. Don’t forget that they only need to follow instructions if the leader uses the words “Simon Says.”
“Follow the Leader” is another option for getting kids up and moving. Role model some fun options like marching up the stairs, doing exercises like push-ups, or just shaking the sillies out. Or how about hide and seek? There are many variations to keep it exciting, like the ones in 13 Hide and Seek Games for Preschoolers and Kindergarteners. When kids get bored of finding each other, hide a stuffed animal or other objects.
Photo: Iakov Filimonov via 123RF
5. Exercise Videos for Kids
Never before have so many exercise videos just for kids been available online! Put one on to teach new skills or just get kids moving in fun ways. Little Sports has kid-friendly videos with fun, simple exercises. And this list of 14 Indoor Kid Exercises includes basic instructions such as push-ups, squats, or sit-ups and more fun options like jump rope routines, yoga, and kickboxing.
6. Compete with Challenges
These 10 Push-up Challenges truly will make everyone sweat. This Roll a Workout lets the roll of a die decide which exercise your kids will do next. Or how about this Ten a Day Challenge tracker with ten exercise suggestions?
Have your kids compete to see how many exercise cards they can do. Keep in mind that competition against you might be fairer than one against a younger sibling or use different sets of cards. Fitclub cards include arm circles, hula hoops, toe touches, pretending to dribble, and more. Younger kids can pick movements to practice with these Gross Motor Skill Cards.
7. Let’s Get Silly
Sometimes it will take extra creativity to get kids off the couch and moving. Here are some silly, fun ideas:
Balloon Play– keep the balloon off the ground, set up a volleyball net, waddle across the room with a balloon between their knees, or make a target for aiming.
Indoor Bowling– set up pins using empty bottles, lego towers, or paper towel rolls. What fun ideas for pins will your kids think of?
Sock Skating– hardwood floors and slippery socks make for a fun skating experience!
Bubbles– There is something about a bubble that makes kids want to pop it. So, pull out the bubbles, start blowing, and watch your kids run up a sweat trying to pop them all!
With so many great indoor exercises, there’s no excuse not to get the kids moving. So get them up and moving, and don’t forget to join in on the fun!