50 Ways for Kids to Exercise–Indoors Or Out

Published June 1, 2006

Does your child spend far too much of his or her free time watching TV or playing video games? Experts advise that two hours of TV or video games a day should be the limit to better assure kids will be healthy, strong, and creative.

Here is a quick reference list of some easy and fun exercise ideas to help children get active (often without even knowing they are exercising!):

1. Walk your dog
2. Walk your neighbor’s dog (with permission from your parents and your neighbor, of course)
3. Fly a kite
4. Toss a Frisbee
5. Ask your parents or grandparents to take you to a state park or other area where you can take a nature hike
6. Ride your bike
7. Skate
8. If you have a yard, pick up sticks or trash
9. Pull weeds
10. Rake the yard or garden
11. Play tag
12. Play hopscotch
13. Have a hula hoop contest, and see who can keep the hoop up the longest
14. Learn to juggle
15. Jump rope (boxers do it, and look how strong & healthy they are!)
16. Visit the zoo, amusement park, or museum (lots of walking)
17. Wash the car
18. Have every family member wear a pedometer, and have a daily challenge to see who can take the most steps. Losers do winner’s chores the next day!
19. Shoot hoops
20. Play soccer
21. Play softball
22. Play badminton
23. Have a water balloon fight
24. Put on your bathing suit and run through the sprinkler
25. Go swimming (never without an adult to supervise!)
26. Give the dog a bath. The bigger the dog, the more exercise you’ll get!
27. Sign up for a charity walk-a-thon with your parent, grandparent, or other relative
28. Do jumping jacks
29. Do push-ups
30. Put on an exercise video and get a good workout
31. Do sit-ups
32. Learn to play golf, or caddy for someone else
33. Play tennis
34. Play miniature golf
35. Go bowling
36. Learn to twirl a baton
37. Take a class in martial arts and learn to defend yourself
38. Build a fort and play cowboys and Indians
39. If you have a two-story home or a home with a basement, carry out-of-place items up or down stairs, one item at a time
40. Run the vacuum
41. Wash windows
42. Clean your room
43. Ride your skateboard
44. Learn yoga, either at a class or from a video
45. Race-walk
46. Have relay races with your friends or family
47. Play touch football
48. Learn ballroom dancing
49. Learn hip-hop dancing
50. Take classes in ballet, jazz, or tap dancing

Bev Grey is founder and president of Grandma’s Healthy Kids Club, Inc., an in-home program to help children lose weight safely or just improve their eating and exercise habits. She is also author of The Project, a children’s book depicting a young boy’s struggle with weight and everything that goes along with it. Grandma’s Healthy Kids Club memberships and The Project can be purchased online at http://www.healthykidsacatalog.com. This essay is excerpted from “79 Ways for Kids to Exercise–Indoors or Out,” published in the May 2006 issue of Weight-Wise Kids, an electronic newsletter offered by Healthy Kids’ Catalog.