Earlier this year Time Magazine¹ reported startling info about kids’ fitness patterns: A Preventative Medicine study showed that among kids ages 6-11, 25% of boys and 50% of girls did not meet the recommendation for one hour of moderate-to-vigorous exercise a day. Even more teens fell short of the guidelines; 50% of adolescent boys and 75% of teen girls weren’t active for at least an hour a day.
If you’ve followed us for any length of time, you know we are huge proponents of being outdoors and getting active. Want to know the best way to get your kids moving? Move with them!! We’ve collected 30 ways to get active with your kids, and six additional tips for making it consistent and successful.
Jumping For Joy
If I sound biased toward using a trampoline for physical family fun…well…guilty. We are on our trampoline every single day (sans storms and sick days.) We use it to stay fit and healthy, to keep our kids’ brains active (physical and cognitive development are linked ya know,) and to give them a positive impression about health and self-care.
Our younger kids have had a trampoline their entire lives. I’m convinced their trampoline play also helped with balance and coordination when they were toddlers.
We also love it because it’s the only Smart Trampoline on the market, meaning we can take advantage of their tgoma product to add to our outdoor family time. There’s nothing like sneaking a little education into their active play.
These first three items on the list are our go-to tgoma games, but others in the list could easily be played on any trampoline.
For those who don’t know, tgoma allows you to connect a tablet to four sensors on the trampoline (via Bluetooth.) These track movement so your kiddos can interact with fun and educational games while they jump.
Repeat Street. Great for preschool kids, they jump along to the alphabet or their numbers. No tgoma? No problem – you could do this together; just take the lead.
Free Bounce. My kids love how foot prints show on the screen every time you jump. It keeps track of how many jumps you’ve made…but even better for your competitive crew, it can tell how HIGH you jumped! We try to get a little higher every day!
Alien Stomp. Do you remember Whack-A-Mole? Alien Stomp remind me of this game, but with space creatures and not garden pests. Imagine being able to jump on those being instead of hitting them with a hammer…non-stop fun!
Basketball. We are lucky enough to have a FlexrHoop on our Springfree, and enjoy it because it’s soft and flexible, and safe for those slam dunks. H-O-R-S-E or Around The World are always fun.
Hopscotch. Use chalk to draw a hopscotch on your trampoline, and then hop all day long. A water hose or heavy rain will wash it away.
Yoga. Yoga is GREAT for kids, and what better place to practice it than on the trampoline while getting some vitamin D?? This book is our favorite (and the poster) – The ABCs of Kids Yoga.
Fitness Routines. We do a simple fitness routine as part of our homeschool prep each morning, right after we walk the dog. Springfree has a great routine on their site to get you started (or you can try tgomaFit for more awesome ideas.)
If you’re still saving up for a trampoline or looking for other ways to get fit and have fun, we’ve got more below.
Easy Does It
Popsicle Stick Workouts. OK, don’t get the wrong idea. You aren’t eating popsicles for this workout, but we still adore this idea from Wholefully. Create multiple exercises for each of the six core workout areas: cardio, core, legs, arms, back and chest. Then, have each kid pick one stick from each color for their daily fitness routine.
Obstacle Course. We do this at home sometimes, but the playground is the ideal place. Create a course for your kids and time them. Can they beat their best time? “Head down the slide, run around the swings in a zig-zag, climb over the rock wall, bounce the ball 10 times, circle the toddler area, walk backwards through the picnic tables, do 15 jumping jacks and give mom a high-five when you’re done!”
Jump Rope. Jump high, jump long, jump fast. Jump together or double –Dutch it with multiple kids. Keep track of your progress and see who keeps getting better.
Hula-Hoops. Make sure you get one that is the right size for your kids (and you.) Just 10 minutes a day will keep you in shape, but don’t stop with traditional hooping techniques. There are all sorts of creative moves your kids can come up with.
Wii Sports or Just Dance. Have a Wii or an X-Box? Pull out some active games, or pick some upon the cheap at places like Game Stop. They are great for a rainy or cold day.
Twister. This game just never gets old! Try it in socks…in the sprinkler…you could even draw one on the trampoline or spray paint it on the grass.
Dance Party. A little loud rock music and a whole lot of movin’ and groovin’ will get your heart beat up.
Out And About
Hiking. Our absolute favorite way to work out. We’ve got enough hikes listed here to keep you busy for years.
Lap Swimming. Older kids will love the continuity of laps, and younger kids can get fit just jumping and playing in the water. Even in winter it’s worth finding an indoor pool for your water-lovers.
Family Bike Ride. Whether it’s in the neighborhood, on the Atlanta Beltline or the Silver Comet Trail, or on a trail in the mountains…the family that bikes together certainly gets fit together!
Rick Climbing. Rock climbing is an amazing strength and endurance exercise, and kids love it. There are several gyms around town; memberships always save you a few dollars.
For The Tinies
Even the smallest of kiddos still need to move on a regular basis. It’s never too young to teach them that movement and exercise are fun and healthy. These are especially fun ways to get your toddler moving.
Bubbles. Nothing gets a little one moving around like bubbles. They love to run and chase them, blow them, pop them…you name it.
Animal Acrobats. I played this with my kids all the time when they were young. Gallop like a horse, jump like a frog, wiggle like a worm. The options are endless.
Movement Eggs. Are your little ones obsessed with those plastic Easter eggs? Well, we have another use for them! Add an exercise to 10 eggs, and hide them. Then, help your kiddo find an egg and do what’s inside. 5 jumps, 3 carpet angels, 5 spins like a ballerina…you get the idea.
Musical Chairs. Musical chairs – with a single chair – is heaven for a toddler. Play the music and have them dance around the room…when the music stops, they have to run to their chair and sit. But just until the music starts again.
Chase The Ball. A big ball, small ball, white ball, bright balls…it doesn’t matter. Switch up the scenery, too. Inside, outside…in the bedroom or in the kitchen…at the park or
Simon Says. Simon says is a mom’s best friend. Simon can say anything … from “eat your veggies,” to “jump like a kangaroo.”
Memberships, Classes or Clubs
Martial Arts. Taekwondo is the martial arts of choice in our family – I even take it with the boys. But there is also jujitsu, karate, akido…and most kiddo programs begin as young as 4yo.
Ballet or other dance. Ballet, tap, hip-hop. Moving and grooving to the music makes for strong bodies and healthy hearts.
Gymnastics. My son did gymnastics for a time, and he loved it. You might also find classes listed under “tumbling.”
Traditional sports (Soccer, baseball, tennis, golf, etc.) School groups, church groups, community centers…be sure to check all the options.
Swim. There are year-round swimming options for kids at local gyms and fitness centers. Our boys always take lessons in the winter so they stay focused for summer fun.
Tips For Kid Fitness Fun
60-Minutes Of Sweat. According to the CDC, children should get at least 60 minutes of vigorous physical activity each day. What’s vigorous? It’s when their hearts are beating faster than normal, and they are out of breath.
2-Hours, Then Move. Kids love to watch TV or play video games, especially on rainy days or the weekend. We do it, too! But try your best not to go 2-hours without having them move. Set a timer, and when it goes off you can take the dog for a walk, jump on the trampoline, kick the ball around…anything for 15 minutes to get the blood flowing again.
Routine Is Everything. If this sort of fitness model is new to you, there might be an adjustment period. The best way to cure is a routine. When kids know to expect rigorous right before lunch or a dog walk after dinner or Mondays at swim practice.
Do It Together. Be the role model…don’t just suggest your kids get fit. Do it with them. Be an example. Show them that being fit is important, and this it should be a priority in your life. Actions always speak louder than words.
Purchase “Active” Toys. When you’re looking for gifts (birthday, Christmas, etc) think about “active” toys like a bike or a skateboard, scooters or skates, kites or pogo sticks. Our favorite, of course, is a trampoline!
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Disclosure: We are thankful to Springfree trampoline Atlanta for the awesome trampoline they gifted us, but it in no way impacted our opinions here. We’ve been life-long trampoline supporters, and fans of Springfree for years!