It’s no secret exercise is incredibly important to your child’s health and development. According to the NHS, children and young people aged between 5 and 18 should be doing regular aerobic exercise, as well as exercises to strengthen muscles and bones.
Official recommendations also suggest children should aim for at least one hour of moderate physical activity a day to help break up their time spent sitting or lying down. It’s also recommended to change up the exercises your child does to help build different parts of their body.
If it’s one thing kids definitely have, it’s lots of energy! And as a parent, you might be asking yourself, how can I turn this energy into healthy exercise? Making exercise fun will be a habit that will stand your child in good stead for years to come. Here are our top 7 fun exercises for kids to keep them healthy and get them moving.
Our top 7 fun exercises for kids
Firstly, while exercise is recommended for children from ages 5 and up, children under this age still need to enjoy exercise. To make exercise fun, you could turn it into a game. Maybe hide and seek, a fun recycling scavenger hunt, or even just a lunchtime dance party. All of these little things make moving fun and help your children maintain healthy lifestyles.
A lot of these fun exercises for kids can be done at home and even you can get involved too. If your little one is a bit too young for that then why not include them in your workout routine? NetDoctor has some great tips for including your child in your home exercise routines. This bonding routine will help your baby associate exercise with you and potentially allow them to form good habits earlier.
Everyday activities like running, walking and cycling can count towards a healthier lifestyle. Running in particular not only helps your child develop their heart and lungs, but it also helps develop their coordination and improve their cognitive performance and mental health. These types of activities provide plenty of aerobic exercises and help to build your child’s muscles. You can even turn it into a game and play a game of tag or participate in races.
Jumping is something most children can do from an early age because it’s a fundamental skill that builds on bouncing. It’s a great form of exercise and like running, jumping can help improve and develop balance and coordination, as well as strengthening muscles around the body. Jumping in particular is also a fun exercise to do at home as you could engage in pretend activities like frog jumping and kangaroo jumping.
Once your child has mastered the art of incorporating running and jumping into their exercise routine, skipping is another form of fun exercise for kids. As well as being a form of aerobic exercise, skipping helps to improve timing skills and proprioception skills (the ability to sense your body’s position and movements). This is a form of exercise for children that can be enjoyed outdoors and indoors – just make sure there’s nothing around that they could break!
Engaging in sports activities is a great way to get outdoors, whether that’s going into the garden or your local park for a game of cricket, rounders or tennis. Whatever sport your little one is interested in, it provides an ideal way for getting out of the house and enjoying some exercise.
Sports combine aerobic exercise with muscle-building, fine motor skills, and coordination. If you find a sport you can play together, you’ll both feel the benefit of sharing a hobby, getting some much-needed exercise and forming a bond.
5. Squats and lunges
Whilst these might not be a traditional form of exercise children usually get involved with, it’s the perfect example of incorporating your little one into your own exercise routine. Squats and lunges help to improve your child’s strength and stability and specifically targets certain lower body muscles. If you have a younger child or toddler, you can easily encourage them to squat or lunge by putting their favourite toy on the floor.
6. Bear crawls
Bear crawls are a great exercise to get a full body workout for your child. It specifically targets upper body muscles such as the shoulders, chest and arms, and lower body muscles such as the hips and legs. Bear crawls can be a particular fun exercise for kids as they can tap into their imagination and play plenty of pretend games!
Fun exercise for kids doesn’t have to involve getting the blood pumping. Mindful exercises can reduce agitation, restlessness and boredom. Yoga and other meditation activities are great ways to bring mindfulness into your lives and provide some much-needed stress relief.
Yoga can be a fun exercise at home you can both enjoy. All you need is a couple exercise mats and some simple stretches. You could work through a routine with your child and get them to copy your movements. This will show your child how to stretch properly and they’ll probably enjoy the fun shapes and actions you get to do.
We can help with fun exercises for your kids
At Stepping Stones day nursery, we work hard to provide the very best education and lifestyle for your children. Our team of expert teachers and carers have years of experience helping to nurture your little ones minds and encouraging healthy exercise. Contact us today to find out more about how else we can help and what we can offer for your child.