Exercise like calisthenics and aerobics can help keep a kid’s body and mind fit and healthy. Kid’s exercises are also perfect for helping children learn to manage their emotions and be more attentive in class. The best part of all is that you need absolutely no expensive exercise equipment to get kids moving. See what these 12 exercise class activities can do for your kids in this article.
1. Stuck in the Mud:
In an open space big enough to let everyone run around, select one student to be the tagger and the rest will run around trying to avoid being tagged. If the tagger taps a student on the back, that student must stand in the spot with their legs apart like their feet are stuck in mud. They must wait until someone crawls through their legs and releases them before they can move again. Keep playing till everyone is stuck in the mud (or when everyone gets tired).
2. Wall Pushups:
Children may not have the strength to perform full floor pushups. But they can still benefit from upper body exercise during a break between lessons. When you’ve finished a lesson, hold a quiz for the whole class, and for every correct answer, they all have to run to the wall and perform 4 wall pushups – place hands shoulder height on the wall and use their arms to move closer and push away from the wall – and then go back to their seats. For every incorrect answer, they must do 8 wall pushups.
3. Story Acting:
While telling an engaging story to the entire class, get kids moving and acting out certain parts of the story. Choose a fun book that includes lots of actions in the story that describe lots of body movements, arm waving, feet tapping, etc. Sport stories are especially great for encouraging everyone to stand up and shoot, jump, hop and clap when you get to that part of the story.
4. Line Teams:
Divide the class into two teams and ask each team to stand in a line, with both teams facing each other. On your signal, you will tell them in which order you want them to line up in from left to right. Categories can include: oldest to youngest, names in alphabetical order, shoe size smallest to biggest and birthdays in order by month. They must get into order as quick as possible – quickest team gets a point and the team with the most points win. Pause only for a few seconds to announce who gets the point before revealing the next category to keep everyone’s heart rate up.
5. Wordless Wishes:
Whenever one of your students wants to make a request, they must perform a short movement before making that request. For instance, before being able to ask a question, they must stretch as high as they can then drop to the floor three times or they must run to the wall and perform 5 wall pushups. Be sure to praise them for remembering to do the movement and completing it.
6. Fit Rules:
Similar to Wordless Wishes, make a list of fitness rules that the children must follow in the classroom. For example, each student must bunny hop to their desk each time they enter the class and they must hop on one foot when leaving the classroom. You can make it even more entertaining by switching up the rules each day to target different body parts and target aerobic versus strength exercises for children.
7. Traffic Lights:
When warming up before a class activity or during recess, have the students walk freely around the classroom or activity area and call out traffic light colors: ‘Green’ when you want them to run, ‘Yellow’ when they must return to walking and ‘Red’ when you want them to stop where they are and freeze. Put an amusing twist on this idea by giving each color a more ridiculous action such as star jumps for green, wiggly spaghetti for yellow and tea pots for red.
8. Guided Mimes:
Guide the entire class through a series of silent mimes. First, get all students to clear their desks and stand up. Begin with an easy mime such as walking the dog and let them take their ‘dogs’ for walkies around the classroom. Loudly and clearly instruct them to lead their dog back to their desk for their dogs’ afternoon naps. Now lead them on a ride on the world’s most amazing rollercoaster full of ups, downs, fast turns and awesome loop de loops. Continue with fun mimes for kids to follow along with; and you might want to end by bringing their excitement levels back to a peaceful level with a mime for relaxing on a tropical beach or sitting next to a quiet country stream.
9. Funny Walk:
Instruct everyone to stand on one side of the room. Then one by one, starting from right to left, the students will walk to the other side BUT THEY MUST WALK FUNNY! They can be as creative as they want. And every student’s walk must be different from the last. They can skip, tip toe, crawl, jump, hop, ballet dance or even twirl.
10. Crazy Circuits:
Divide the class into four teams of equal number. Then divide your classroom or activity space into four quadrants. The students will perform one type of exercise in each quadrant for 30 seconds before all teams move in a clockwise direction to the next quadrant to perform that quadrant’s exercise. Children’s exercises can include star jumps, pushups with knees on the floor, squats and jogging on the spot for a mixture of strength and aerobic exercises. Rest for 1 minute after each complete circuit and perform 3 circuits.
11. Yoga for children:
No mat, no problem. Why? Because you’ll be leading the students in simple yoga movements and breathing exercises while standing up. Teach them moves with names they will remember such as the tree, the dog, the waterfall and the star pose. And teach them when to exhale and inhale to get their lungs full of oxygen, which helps to boost overall health and brainpower.
AND FINALLY…THE FITNESS TEST!
12. Fitness Test:
Perform various activities to judge and record their level of fitness. Children’s fitness activities can include:
- Number of backwards jumps.
- Number of jumps with arms crossed.
- Running on the spot for 30 seconds.
- Jump with both feet and touch as far up a wall as possible.
- Length of time hopping on one leg.
Determine how well every student has performed. Then progressively increase the challenge for each student. With consistent practice, they can beat their previous results, which will boost their confidence while making them fit and healthy.