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Six Exercises to do with Your Kids

Published on Jul. 10, 2020

Family Biking exercise Munson Healthcare

Setting a good example for our kids is important, especially when it comes to wellness activities, like eating and exercise. Munson Healthcare wellness experts agree, exercise should be enjoyable for both adults and kids. We’ve rounded up our favorite tips for engaging kids in fun exercise from toddlers to teens. Have a younger tyke? Check out these tips for exercising at home with your baby


1. Create a Simple Obstacle Course 

Obstacle courses offer universal fun for nearly all age groups. Build one using household items or outside toys in your garage.

  • An agility ladder using a real ladder, chalk, or tape
  • Hopscotch
  • Jump rope and hula hoop
  • Make a soccer or hockey goal, a basket with a basketball, or toss whatever ball you have into a cleaning bucket
  • Jump over planters, buckets, or small boxes
  • Weave or kick a ball through blocks, cones, or cans
  • Run up and down patio steps, balance on patio pavers, or duck under low tree limbs

2. Add These Exercises to Outdoor Playtime 

Play outside Munson Healthcare

If your kids are playing independently in the yard, crank out some simple exercises:

  • Forward and backward lunges
  • Squats
  • Pushups and sit-ups
  • Karaoke
  • Sprint forward, and run backwards
  • But kicks or high knees
  • Mountain climbers or burpees

3. Play Simon Says with a Twist 

Get them involved by playing Simon Says. Simon can call out any movement-activities and everyone else has to play along. Simon says shoot a basket, do 10 pushups, lunge to the closest tree, or jump on one foot for a count of 30.

Try moving like your kid’s favorite animals and engage the youngest by making the same noise the animal makes with each step. Check out Pathways for a full list or try these more familiar options:

  • Bear crawl
  • Crab walk
  • Frog jumps
  • Donkey kicks
  • Bunny hops

  • Gorilla run 


4. Mix Up Your Game of Tag

Play fun variations of the classic game, tag:

  • Freeze Tag: The person who is "It" chases others trying to tag them. When she successfully tags a player, that player must freeze and remain frozen until another player tags them to unfreeze them. The game continues until all runners have been frozen, and then a new person becomes "It."
  • Underdog tag: Players stand with their legs open to create a tunnel which another player must crawl through to unfreeze them. If a player is tagged while trying to unfreeze another, they must stand up right in front of the person they were saving, creating a double tunnel for someone else to crawl through.
  • Animal Freeze tag: This variation assigns players to be an animal, which means they have to move like that animal—skipping, hopping, running, and galloping. The zookeeper, who is "It," must freeze the animals while a mischievous monkey unfreezes and set them free.

5. Dance Like No One's Watching 

If you’re stuck inside for the day, have a dance party, do living room yoga, or play don’t let the balloon touch the ground game. Or try some of these free online exercises classes from the YMCA


6. Enjoy the Nature Sites of Northern Michigan

Need to get out of the house? Take a nature walk or stroll on the beach. Let your kids stop to explore, pick up stones, or find the perfect walking stick. For some extra steps that are guaranteed to raise your heart rate, play walk, skip, run. Let your kids call out the commands and run, walk or skip until they call the next command.  

While you’re out of the house, be sure to practice social distancing and stay at 6-10 feet away from others, further if possible. If your favorite trail has several cars in the parking lot, find a new one to explore. Visit Northernmichigantrails.org for a full list of places to walk, run, ride, and paddle.