Kids don’t need to read about how to get fit. Turn them loose outside and they have no trouble finding all kinds of ways to have fun—most of them active! But in the winter months, when weather can limit backyard, park and playground time, you may need to help them find ways to get moving indoors. Here’s our list of 10 fitness games that work indoors and out that will make those 60 minutes of recommended daily exercise go by in a flash!
Our Favorite Family Fitness Games:
Potato Sack Race: Don’t throw out the old pillowcases just yet. Next time you hit the park, take them with you for a potato sack race. Indoor hack: Set a stopwatch as everyone hops down the hallway one at a time to see who has the best time.
Ring Toss: A good old-fashioned way to polish your aim and build chest and arm muscles at the same time.
Jump Rope: When it comes to exercise, skipping rope is great cardio as well as a surefire way to sculpts shoulders, chest, arms, and legs. Kids like it because it’s fun. And if you really want to kick it up a notch, check out these double dutch videos and work on some new skills.
Animal Races: See who can hop, leap frog, waddle or slither the fastest. Indoor hack: Pretend the hallway is a deep dark forest path and set a stop watch to see who would make it to the clearing first.
Hopscotch: Great on the sidewalk, in the playground or on the kitchen floor, this classic schoolyard game never loses its charm. All you need is some chalk and a stone or pair of dice. Indoor hack: Roll out a hop scotch mat anywhere and you are good to go.
Red Light, Green Light: Best played in an environment where you have the space to move—and feel safe turning your back on your kids—this game is especially fun with a few kids full of energy. Line them up, then with your back turned give them the Green Light to “sneak up” on you until you whip around and call Red Light. See a moving hand or a shaky step? They’re out. Indoor hack: Put on some music and ask the kids to do their silliest dances. When they least expect it turn the music off and yell “Freeze.” Whoever can hold their pose the longest wins.
Obstacle Course: Plot a course in the park, backyard, or at the YMCA on family fun days and time the kids as they run (hop, skip, or jump) it. Indoor hack: Let the kids rearrange the furniture and challenge each other to see who can navigate the course the quickest without knocking things over.
Tug of War: All it takes is a long piece of rope and some supervision to make sure the teams are evenly matched.
Dance-off: We know you can dance! Crank up the tunes and see who busts the best moves!
Pillow Fight: Need we say more?
And if you want something more mellow and less active, check out some of our indoor and easy art project ideas for kids!