These ideas require no equipment or large outdoor spaces.
They can be done in small bursts of five to 10 minutes, or you can string several activities together for a longer physical playtime.
Start with a few minutes of warm-up exercises to get muscles and hearts moving.
Running is just about the simplest form of exercise there is, and it’s perfect for kids’ seemingly endless energy and need for speed.
Kids can run outdoors or inside, in a gym, down a hallway, or even around (and around, and around) a large table.
Running can also be combined with other moves into active games, like relay races.
Change things up while running: Vary movement patterns by having kids switch from running to skipping, or try running in place with feet very close to the ground (this is called “fast feet”).
Kids can also run with high knees (lifting alternating knees toward the chest with each step) or “butt kicks” (kicking alternating heels toward the buttocks with each step).
Changes of direction (side-to-side or reverse) work both muscles and the brain, improving kids’ coordination.
Get those feet up and off the ground with these easy exercises. Jumps build muscle strength, cardiovascular fitness, and endurance.
And who doesn’t love competing against a friend, sibling, or even an adult to see who can jump the highest?
Fun jumps for kids to try
Criss-cross feet: Jump straight up, then cross one foot in front of the other; on next jump, switch feet and continue.
Hurdle hops: Jump side-to-side or front-to-back over a pretend hurdle.
Jumping jacks: Stretch arms and legs out to the side like a starfish while jumping; on the second jump, return arms to sides and legs to center on the landing.
One-foot hops: Lift one knee and jump on the standing leg; alternate. (This is a great balance challenge, too.)
Tuck jumps: Bend knees and lift heels high while jumping.
To make exercise more fun for kids, turn it into a game.
Here are some ideas:
Corners: Divide kids up so that they each have a home corner.
Then, have them run around the room in a circle.
On your cue, they need to return to “home” and do a few easy exercises (say, five jumping jacks or one 30-second plank).
Akpan suggests letting kids decide what exercises to do in each corner to give them ownership over the game.
Go back and hit it: On “go,” kids run forward in designated lanes.
Then call out “back,” a prompt for them to run in reverse.
Finally, say “hit it!,” a cue to incorporate another skill (such as a tuck jump or squat). Again, give kids input on choosing the “hit it” skill.
Squat relay: Have kids line up on opposite sides of the room, facing each other.
On “go,” all kids run toward the centre of the room and meet in the middle.
They need to do three squats, giving each other a high-five with both hands in between each rep.
Then, they return to the starting point and repeat.
The focus is on the high-fives and the social interaction.
If you have a large group, you could have the lines shift sideways between reps so kids meet a different friend in the middle of the room each time.
Indoor ball games
Playing ball games indoors or outside can be great exercise for kids.
Some of the benefits include aerobic exercise, balance, and coordination practice. (Plus, kids usually gravitate toward any activity that involves a ball.)
Some examples of indoor ball games that don’t require a lot of space include:
Tossing balls into laundry baskets
Hitting balls at a target with a household object
Catching balls with a plastic mixing bowl
Throwing, rolling, or kicking a ball against the wall
Other ideas include dribbling, passing, and rolling a ball back and forth between partners.
Parents should always find a safe location for their child to play with a ball inside (i.e, some place with ample distance from breakable items).
When playing inside, it’s ideal to use a soft ball, like a squishy yoga ball, a foam ball, or even bean bags, to keep games safe and injury-free.
Properly fitting protective gear is a good idea if you are using a small or hard ball, or if your child is still working on their coordination. − Online.