30 Exercise Games and Indoor Activities to Get Kids Moving
Whether it's rainy, snowy, or simply too cold or hot to hit the park or backyard, exercise games and indoor activities that keep kids moving are a great way to get everyone in the family moving, giggling, and away from the screens for a bit.
We've put together a list of 30 easy indoor exercise games and fun exercises for kids at home. It's a really simple way for a family to integrate movement and exercise into any day. Most of these can be done right in your living room and will even work in tight city apartments (or hallways). We promise that everyone will be tired and laughing after attempting just a handful.
Looking for more indoor activities for kids? We have lots of ideas, including science experiments and sensory activities for all ages.
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When you keep the focus on the fun, exercise for kids isn't a chore—hopefully, these ideas will inspire your family to devise more entertaining ways to get moving.
Fun Exercises for Kids at Home
These push-up challenges are sure to get everyone moving. You can also try popcorn push-ups: Put a small bowl of popcorn on the floor, lower yourself down, and stick out your tongue to get a piece of popcorn with each thrust.
2. Jumping Jacks
They are so simple, but great for coordination and for getting your heart going. When my kids can't sleep, I have them do 25 to tire themselves out.
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The world looks funnier upside down, and it's also great exercise! Photo courtesy of Shutterstock
Headstands are a great activity for the core muscles and to get blood going to the brain. Kids are often naturals!
4. TikTok Dances
The whole family can get up and moving—and maybe even go viral—as they learn a new TikTok Dance.
5. Steam Team
Burn off some steam while learning one of these 65 life skills—steam-cleaning the house.
6. Dance Party
Turn on the music and shake your groove thang.
7. Temper Tantrum
Have a fit for the fun of it. Flail, stomp, and scream.
8. Sock Skating
If you have hardwood floors, put on socks to skate around. Try spins or hockey stops, or see who can slide the farthest. My kids also like to up the speed factor with a couple of pieces of wax paper under each foot. Make sure to move the furniture, and watch for splinters!
9. Bubble Bashing
Blow bubbles and let your child try to pop them.
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Any sheet becomes a living room parachute. Photo courtesy of Alex Green, Pexels
This kiddie-gym standby can be recreated at home with sheets. Each person takes an end of the parachute or sheet and fans it upward while the kids take turns running underneath.
Indoor Exercise Games for Kids
11. Jump-Rope Games
From solo games to multiplayer ones, these jump-rope workout games really get the kids moving.
12. Obstacle Course
Create a furniture course in your house or apartment. Add in specific mental or physical challenges to keep the kids guessing.
13. Bubble-Wrap Attack
If you get bubble wrap in the mail, jump on it until it's all popped, or try one of these other bubble-wrap games and activities.
14. Balloon Ball
There are endless ways to play with balloons indoors. Try to keep a balloon off the ground, play catch, or mix it up with balloon tennis.
15. Scavenger Hunt
Write up clues and hide them around the house. Kids can race to find each clue for a small prize at the end.
16. Hallway Bowling
Fill up water bottles and use any ball you have.
17. Recess Time
What’s everyone’s favorite subject? Recess! Try one of these indoor recess games to keep bodies (and brains) active.
18. Baby Activity Center
Keep the wee-est ones actively engaged by turning their high chair into a play zone.
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Blocks, beans, ice, or pretty much anything can contribute to your sensory bin. Photo courtesy of Tatiana Syrikova, Pexels
19. Sensory Bins
Little ones can explore, touch, grab, and lunge their way through one of these 10 sensory bin ideas for busy toddlers.
20. Animal Races
Hop like a bunny or frog, squat and waddle like a duck, and so on.
21. Follow the Leader
Add to the workout with energetic movements such as jumping, stomping, and squatting.
22. Freeze Dance
When the music stops, freeze in your pose and hold it until the music begins again.
23. Tickle Tag
Chase your children. When you catch them, it's tickle time.
24. Wheelbarrow, Crab, and Bear-Walk Races
Holding one of these tough positions gives you a real workout.
25. Cleanup Race
Set a timer or put on a song to see who can right the room the fastest.
Set up carnival games such as "Knock Down the Milk Cans." We used Tupperware!
Use tape to make an old-fashioned game of hopscotch on your floor.
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Everyone loves a pillow fight! Photo courtesy of Monstera via Pexels
28. Pillow Fight
No explanation needed.
Put down a mat, or play on a rug or a bed. See if your kids can wrestle you to the ground.
30. Pushover Parents
Plant your feet and see if the kids can budge you. If you move your feet, they win. Stand on one foot to make it easier for little kids.
This article first published in October 2011, but is regularly updated.