Fun Exercises to do with Children

Family running outdoors holding hands and smilingYou may make time to have a workout every other day or so and you may even have a gym membership. But why not do exercises that can help your child learn the benefits of fitness and that can help you work out at the same time?

Jump Rope

Jump rope is one of the single best exercises for working most of the muscles in your body. It’s also a common playground activity and your child probably already knows how to jump rope. Why not have a jump rope competition or ask your child to teach you some new jump rope moves – like cross skipping or backwards skipping. You could also take it in turns to do reps of ten or twenty jumps and you could get your child to teach you some new rhymes whilst you’re jumping. Make it fun and enjoyable rather than all about having to exercise.

Basketball

If you have a hoop, why not play one a side or two a side basketball? It will help your child learn better hand-eye coordination and it will also encourage them to throw correctly, but marking your child and blocking the goal is also a great source of cardio exercise for you. Even if you don’t have a full-sized hoop, you can buy a hoop that attaches to the side of your house from most good toy stores.

Dance

Think back to when you last went clubbing and went out dancing. How much fun did you have? Put on your favourite CD or your iPod and grab your child and have a dance! You could also play a dance game on your games console – Dance Dance Revolution is a good one, as is Just Dance for the Wii console.

Hopscotch

Hopscotch is another playground favourite that’s fun for adults and children alike. Grab a piece of chalk and mark out a hopscotch pitch. Make it as big or as small as you like, then take it in turns to throw a stone down the hopscotch pitch and jump as far as the stone. You could add on a square after every turn or you could completely change the hopscotch pitch every so often.

Cycle

Biking really works your arms and legs, making it a great exercise. It’s also good for cardio. Get helmets and kneepads for your children and take them on a bike ride around the neighbourhood or around nearby countryside.

Tag

A game of tag is really as simple as it gets with regards to exercise. It’s completely free, you can do it anywhere, and you don’t even need a garden. Simply make someone ‘on’ and then get them to run around and tag people. Whoever gets tagged is then ‘on’ and needs to tag the next person, and so on. This sort of game can run and run and has the potential to last for ages.

Go Walking

This is especially easy if you have an animal that you can take for a walk – in particular an energetic dog like a greyhound. Go for a walk once or twice a day and make sure that the walk lasts for half an hour or more. If you’re able, make the walk energetic and fast-paced, but if not, just making the effort to get out of the house and get exercise is better than staying in.

Have Fun

Most activities that you can do with your children are a lot of fun – think paintballing, going to a theme park, playing catch in the park, having races, playing hula hoop etc. All of these activities are fun for your child, but they can also be really fun for you too. If you want more information on fun exercises for children, go to your paediatrician or ask your doctor for advice.