If your kids groan at the mention of exercise, try a new approach. Physically active games keep young players entertained while they move. The physical fitness games work well as family entertainment or in larger group situations when a large group of kids is involved. Keep the ages of the kids in mind, making any changes to the game as necessary to ensure all players are safe and entertained.
Follow the Leader
Follow the Leader gets the entire group moving all at the same time for maximum physical fitness benefits. Encourage the leader to incorporate lots of movement to make it an active game. Ideas for movements include hopping like a frog, marching, dancing as you move forward, twirling in circles, jumping from side-to-side and holding your arms out to the side as you weave back and forth like a bird or airplane. For even more fitness, stop the line and do a few exercises like jumping jacks or toe touches. Switch the leader every few minutes so each of the kids gets a turn to lead the group.
Jumping burns energy and helps to strengthen the legs. Focus your child’s jumping energy into a game. This physical game easily works with small or larger groups. Make a jumping line with sidewalk chalk or string. If you play this game indoors, a piece of masking tape works well. Each player takes a turn to see who can make the longest jump. For more of a challenge, turn it into a jumping race. Identify a starting and finish line. Each player jumps as fast as possible to see who crosses the finish line first.
Frisbee Obstacle Course
Turn the backyard into an obstacle course for Frisbees to keep the kids active. Create several obstacles or targets for the frisbees in different areas of the yard. Ideas for obstacles include throwing the Frisbee through the middle of a tire swing, over a deck railing or into a laundry basket. The players race through the course, completing the tasks as fast as possible. In another variant, create targets on the ground with sidewalk chalk or string. Award points for landing in certain areas of the target. The person with the highest number of points at the end of the game wins.
Balloons are the only material needed for this active game. This activity works well indoors because the lightweight balloons are less likely to knock over anything in the house. Start with one balloon. The kids hit the balloon up into the air without letting it touch the floor. When they get the hang of one balloon, add another balloon to the mix. Continue adding balloons for more of a challenge.