Finding time to exercise can be tough when you’re a full time mom. I stay at home with my son and some days I struggle to get in a good workout when there is so much to get done around the house and my son wants all my attention. So why not include your kids into your workout and have them think you’ve created a game for them to play with you.
1. London Bridge is Falling Down
Do a plank or bridge and have them crawl under you while singing “London Bridge is falling down”. You can lower yourself down when the bridge is falling for added challenge and fun for the kids.
2. Simon Says
Play the game “Simon Says” and take turns being the person leading/ following. Children are very good at coming up with different actions. Depending on the age of the children you could run in place while doing the actions.
3. Floor Exercises While You “Play”
Most times my son asks me to play with him it involves sitting or laying on the floor and I, more or less, just need to do the voices of a truck or animal from the game he is playing. There is also a good chance that I don’t actually have to play the entire time. But I cannot get away with leaving the play area. So its time to start your floor exercises. While you’re laying there, be in a plank position or do a couple push ups between play. While they have their turn building the tower until it falls do crunches, have your turn building the tower, and then back to more crunches.
4. Spell out your names, or words, in exercises.
This is a fun game for them as everyone’s exercises will be different. If you have really energetic kids, or you really need the exercise, just do the whole alphabet.
5. Pretend to be Animals
- Hop back and forth like a frog
- Jump like a kangaroo – big jumps with hands in front of you
- Pee like a dog – also called Fire hydrant, on all-fours lift your leg (with knee bent) out to the side like a dog peeing on the fire hydrant
- Walk like a bear – hands and feet on the floor, hips high
- Slither like a snake – laying on your belly with your arms at your sides try to slither yourself forward without coming off the ground
- Kick like a donkey – on all-fours, leaning onto your hands, kick both legs backwards up off the ground
- Run in place super-fast like a cheetah
- Crawl like a crab – sit with your palms flat on the floor behind you near your hips and lift yourself off the ground to crawl side to side
- Stomp like an elephant – march in place lifting knees high and stomping your feet down hard
- Waddle like a duck – squat down low and put hands to your armpits and waddle around keeping your balance
- Move like a gorilla – sink into a low sumo squat with hands on the floor and shuffle around, add in some standing tall beating your chest.
- Fly like superman – lay on your belly with arms and legs lifted off the ground, then spread your arms as if you’re flying
- Jump to the sky – fully stretched out jumping jacks as fast as you can
Lay on your back with your knees up. Have child sit on your feet, tummy to your calves. Hold child’s hands and lift your child into the air. Make some noises for added fun (for them lol). For extra workout pretend the airplane is having trouble taking off and landing so it has to try multiple times, i.e. you do continuous leg lifts.
7. Practice Being Spies or Ninjas
Tape up some string or streamers back and forth across the hallway – get down low and army crawl under all of them. Careful the strings are lasers protecting something at the other end of the hallway. You could also put the diagonally across the hallway to try and weave up, over, and around. For older children add little bells to the string. If the bells ring, you need to start from the beginning.
8. Get Outside
Go for a walk
Another great way to get exercise and keep them busy is to go for a walk. If they have a scooter or bike, let them ride that. Going for a walk can be boring for some kids so why not make it interesting and give them something to do.
We have to collect our mail from the mailbox down the street. Its only about a 5-10 min walk total, but sometimes that’s enough to get in a little extra fresh air and I count it towards my daily exercise.
Take them on a scavenger hunt.
Write up a list of things to find outside while on a walk. If it needs to be a quick walk cross them off as you find them, to extend the walk find the things in the order they are written.
Walk or Ride Bikes to a Nearby Park.
Instead of going to the park for an hour and only 5 min of driving, why not walk for 15-20 min, let them play for 20 and then turn around and walk back home. It gives you the exercise and it tires them out.
Collect Things For Art
Ask them to find things for art. You can glue them, paint them (or paint with them), or do rubbings.
Let them take pictures. Children love taking pictures. Let them use an old camera, show them how to use yours, get a disposable, or get a toddler-specific camera that doesn’t break. Have them take lots of pictures and when you get back you can have a look at them, or go drop them off to be developed.
Bug or Bird Watching
Look up local birds to your area and print off their pictures. Get some binoculars or have the kids make their own, using some toilet paper rolls, and have the kids try and find them all.
Geocaching is a worldwide treasure hunt using GPS. You can download an app and select the geocache you want to find and then start the adventure to find it. It gets you out walking and hiking to find the treasures. There is treasure to find at all levels so you just choose ones your children could do.
There are so many things you can do to stay active with your children that there should be no excuse to not get in any exercise (for yourself) on a daily basis. If you find that you need even more ideas on how to include a workout into your day check out my post – Exercise For Moms Who Don’t Have Time For The Gym.