Encourage your child to try one of these exercises for kids before they sit down to work, and as a break between study sessions. They’ll have fun and find it easier to focus after they’ve moved a bit. Taking a quick exercise break every 30 minutes is a great study habit to start now and keep up in middle and high school. Plus, exercise is great for your child’s brain development.
20 great exercises for kids
Learning how to do a burpee!
Burpees are the combination of several different exercises done in a sequence. Doing 25 burpees is really hard!
First, here’s how to do a burpee:
Step 1: Stand with your arms raised overhead and jump.
Step 2: When you land, put your hands on the ground by your feet.
Step 3: Keep your hands on the ground and jump your feet back so you’re in a plank.
Step 4: Do a pushup.
Step 5: Jump your feet back to be by your hands.
Step 6: Jump up in the air and throw your hands up above your head.
Step 7: When you land, that’s one burpee. Repeat!
How many can you do?
The nonstop dance challenge
Choose 5 songs you like and dance to them. The challenge? Don’t stop dancing AT ALL during any of the songs. (It’s okay to take a couple minutes break between songs, though!)
Do the robot
Stand up straight. With your arms tight at your side, bend your arms at the elbows so your arms make a 90-degree angle. Jump forward and shift your right arm forward (with your elbow still bent). Jump back and shift your right arm back by your side and shift your left arm forward. Can you do this 20 times? Count aloud in your best robot voice!
The side jump challenge
Standing with your legs and feet together, jump to the side over an imaginary line, then jump back. Can you keep it up for 30 seconds? A minute? Once you’ve found your interval, do it three times.
The grapevine challenge
To do a grapevine: run sideways alternating putting your back foot in front of your lead foot or behind it. Once you get the hang of it, go faster. Grapevine across the room. Facing the same way, grapevine back. Can you grapevine nonstop for 5 minutes? More? Find out!
Work out like a Jedi
Do “Luke blasts” and “Yoda blocks” for 30 seconds each with rests in between.
It’s time for split jumps
Stand with your left leg forward and your right leg back. Jump in the air and when you land, switch so that your left leg is back and your right leg is forward. Every time you jump, switch which leg is forward. Can you do 30? Count aloud as you jump!
Check out this choreographed dance. Watch and follow along to learn and complete this dance.
100 jumping jacks!
Do 25 jumping jacks, then take 90 second to rest. Repeat. Do 3 more sets for a total of 100.
High knees are a breeze
Standing up, raise one knee up so it’s level with your hip. Now switch. That’s one rep. Grab a timer and see how many you can do in 30 seconds!
Stand with your hands clasped in front of you and your legs a little wider than hip-width apart and your toes pointing slightly outward. From there, squat down till your rear end is level with your knees. (Make sure your knees stay directly over your ankles.) As you push back up to standing, jump into the air and throw your hands above your head. That’s one sunburst! Can you do 10? 12? 15?
Work out like an Avenger
Follow along with this 5-minute video as they lead you through a workout worthy of any superhero.
Stand with your feet together and put your hands on the floor in front of you under your shoulders. Keeping your left leg straight, raise your leg behind you so it’s at a 90-degree angle to your right leg. Now, can you lift your right hand off the ground? Raise your arm slowly and steadily. See if you can raise your arm off the ground so it’s at a 90-degree angle to your left arm. Wherever you are in your balancing act, see if you can hold it for the count of 10. Now switch sides and try again. Which side is easier for you to balance?
Advanced jumping jacks
For regular jumping jacks, you start standing up straight with your legs together and your arms at your sides. Then you jump so your legs are wider than hip-width apart and your arms go up into a V above your head. When you jump again, you return to your legs together and your arms by your sides. For advanced jumping jacks, you add a middle jump on the way up and the way down with your legs hip-width apart and your arms straight out to the sides at shoulder height. Can you do 50 of these? Count them aloud as you go!
Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Place your hands on the ground in front of your feet. Walk your hands in front of you till you’re in a high plank position. Tap your left shoulder with your right hand, then your right shoulder with your left hand. Now walk your hands back toward your feet and stand up straight. That’s one hand walk. Try to do 10!
The push-up shuffle
Get in push-up position, but instead of lowering to the ground for a push-up, keep your arms elongated (a slight bend at your elbows is fine). Lift your right leg and tap your toe on the ground 6 inches to the right, then return to center. Now tap your left toe on the ground 6 inches to the left. That’s one shuffle. Can you do the shuffle for 30 seconds? 60?
Boom Chicka Boom
Sing and dance along to this popular camp song.
Squat down so your legs are bent and your hands are on the ground. Jump forward and land on your hands and feet at the same time. Before each jump, say, “Ribbet!” How many frog jumps can you do in a row? See how high and how far you can jump.
The sprint-walk-skip-hop challenge
Find a space that’s at least 25 large steps from beginning to end. Mark the starting and ending points. Start at one end and sprint to the other as fast as you can. Walk back. Now skip from the start to the end. Legs together, hop back. That’s one round of the sprint-walk-skip-hop challenge. How many can you do? 25? Use a paper and pen to mark down how many rounds you complete!
Start in a plank position on your hands and toes with your back and neck straight. Bend your right knee in toward your chest, then return your foot to the starting position. Now bend your left knee in toward your chest. You can do these at a walking, jogging, or even a sprinting pace. Can you do these for 30 seconds? 60?
Check out these exercises for kids in kindergarten through second grade, too.