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!

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. 

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