10 Push-up Challenges for Kids That'll Make Everyone Sweat

These games make exercise feel like fun rather than work!
These games make exercise feel like fun rather than work!
7/13/21 - By Lauren LaRoche

Sometimes you just need to get your kids moving. Push-ups are a great way to get the blood flowing, work on endurance, and help to build muscle strength. Of course with kids it's best to turn any kind of exercise into a game! From 'Pat-a-Cake' to the singing the ABCs, we've rounded up 10 push-up challenges and games that are anything but boring. Remember, the first one to fall or break from the push-up position is out. 

For more active games to do with kids check out our monster exercise list


Note: We’ll refer to the push-up position throughout the article. A proper push-up position is when your arms are shoulder-width apart. Your arms are extended straight with your palms flat on the floor. Legs are extended straight back behind you in a plank position. 

1. 'ABC' Push-Ups

Have everyone get into in a push-up position to start this one. Their heads should be across from each other or in a circle so that their hands can touch. After each push-up, the children high five (or low five) through every letter of the alphabet. Rotate back and forth, saying the "ABCs" between each push-up. Say the alphabet backward for older kids who need a little challenge. 

Position the kids near each for a little push-up competition. Photo by the author

2. 'Pat-A-Cake' Push-Ups

Each child should get into the push-up position across from one another. Make sure they can touch hands when their arms are extended. After each push-up, the kids hit hands and run through the "Pat-A-Cake" song. Switch hands each time like you would during the song. Don’t forget to try and roll your arms like in the song. 

3. Don’t Drop the Ball Push-Up Challenge

Place a ball or small toy under your chin while in the push-up position. After each push-up, switch hands taking the ball out, and putting it on the floor. On the next push-up, pick it back up and put it under your chin for another push-up. Alternate hands each time. The first one to drop the ball or toy from under their chin is out. 

4. The Rolling Push-Up Challenge

Kids should start their push-ups side by side for this exercise game. Have the kids slowly roll a small ball (a tennis ball works great) between each other. After each roll, do a push-up. They also have to try and catch the ball being rolled without falling. 

5. Pick a Card Push-Ups

Grab a deck of cards for the next challenge! Draw a card and the kids have to do the number of push-ups reflected. Let them take turns drawing cards. The first one who can't complete the number dealt is out! 

Turn push-ups into a game with songs, balls, and a little competition.

6. Simon Says Push-Ups

This one is a lot of fun for parents (and the kids). You get to be Simon and tell the kids what to do between or during each push-up set. Examples include doing three push-ups and then running around in a circle, or do a push-up with your hand behind your back. Get creative! Let the kids take a turn as Simon, too, or you may face a revolt. Remember, if you don’t say, "Simon says," whoever moves to follow the command is out. 

7. Roll the Dice Push-Ups

For this challenge, you’ll need two dice. Each kid gets in a push-up position with one dice between their hands. Kids take turns rolling the dice. Whatever number they roll is how many push-ups they have to do for the next round.

8. Color Drop Push-Ups

This challenge requires colored construction paper and tape. Cut out three circles from different colored pieces of paper. Tape a circle in front of each kid in a push-up position. Choose a color to call out and in between each push-up, the kids have to place their hand on that color circle and do the push-up. 

9. Push-Up Toss Challenge

For this push-up challenge, gather two shoe boxes or small baskets and a soft toy or ball. Put the boxes/baskets within arm’s reach of the kids. Give them each their own soft toy or ball to toss. In between each push-up, the kids have to try and toss the toy into the box. If they miss, they have to do an extra push-up.  

10. Balancing Push-Ups

This challenge requires one stuffed animal per kid. When in a push-up position, put the stuffed animal on the child’s back. They have to try and keep the toy on their back for each push-up. The first one to drop their toy is out.