As a mother, I understand that it sometimes gets difficult to remain indoors for a long time, and they get restless and bored 🥱. So, a solution for this is to engage your kids with indoor exercises that allow them to use their energy.
Exercises don’t necessarily have to be done outdoors and can also be done within your home 🏡.
Are you looking for ways to get your kids moving while they are indoors? Then, worry not because you are at the right place! 💯
Indoor Exercises for Kids
Indoor exercises are an effective way for kids to stay active and healthy while being in the comforts of their homes.
These exercises are also perfect for when the weather outside is gloomy, cold, hot, or rainy, and our kids have no other choice than to stay indoors.
In this blog post, I have included a list of exercises your kids can try within the comforts of their homes and have a good time. 😄
Do Simple Stretches
The most basic and common exercise that comes to mind when I think of exercising is these simple stretches 🙆🏽♀️.
Steps to do:
- You can make your kids sit or stand and raise their hands toward the ceiling.
- They can stretch their hands in this position for a few seconds to feel the stretch of the muscles in their arms, backs, and sides of their bodies.
I make sure my son does simple stretches every morning after he wakes up as a part of his routine, and you can do the same with your kids, too.
Practice Yoga Postures
“Yoga is a light, which, once lit, will never dim. The better your practice, the brighter your flame.” – B.K.S Iyengar.
I would say that one of the most beneficial exercises kids can do at home is yoga 🧘🏽♀️. The fundamental practice of yoga is physical in nature, as it involves postures and stretches with breathing patterns that benefit the bodies and minds of our kids.
You can make your kids practice yoga postures daily for a few minutes to set a routine. Start with beginner-friendly yoga postures that kids can do, pair them with breathing exercises, and then move on to more advanced postures for them to try.
– Marlynn Wei, a certified yoga teacher and board-certified psychiatrist.
Complete an Obstacle Course
Obstacle courses 🚩 are so much fun for kids to complete and can be done within the comforts of your home with household items.
What you can do:
- You can create a course by using household items, like chairs, pillows, boxes, books, blankets, yoga mats, ropes, masking tapes, and so on, around the house as obstacles for kids to complete an obstacle course.
- Include a time limit for each round to make your kids more competitive, and you can also encourage them to beat their best time limit.
- Arrange the items in a way that kids can jump over, jump on, run, crawl, hop, bend, etc.
Obstacle courses allow kids to exercise as this activity involves running, jumping, crawling, bending, and so on.
You can change the layout of the household items to make it different for every round. I recommend you provide your kids with challenges to finish at each obstacle to make it more exciting.
Have a Dance Party
Who doesn’t love a chance to dance? It’s time for kids to put on their dancing shoes and dance 💃🏽🕺🏾 their hearts out!
What you can do:
- Have a dance party with your kids at home – play some lively music and their favorite songs, and get them to dance along to the beats as a fun activity that also makes for an exercise routine.
- You can include movements like jumping, twirling, swinging the arms, and other fun exercises in the dance.
My son and I have made a lot of memories as we dance together in our living room to his favorite songs.
Try Animal Walks
Animal 🦒🦕 walks are a favorite indoor activity in my household that my son always enjoys doing, and he has so much fun!
You can make your kids mimic the actions and walks of various animals for this activity. Animal walks involve a lot of physical movements like running, crawling, jumping, and so on, which are a fun way for kids to exercise.
Some animal walk ideas I would like to suggest for your kids to try are –
- Hop like a bunny
- Jump like a kangaroo
- Walk like a bear / polar bear
- Waddle like a duck
- Jump like a frog
- Crawl like an inchworm
- Waddle like a penguin
Let me know in the comments which animal walk is your kids’ favorite!
March in One Spot
Spot marching, as the name suggests, requires kids to march 🥁 at one spot for an effective exercise routine that can also be done for warm-up.
Steps to do:
- Make your kids stand in one place and march for a few seconds – however long they can.
- Instruct them to bring one of their knees up to their waist and repeat this with the other knee until the time limit is over.
- You can make them repeat this by dividing it into sets.
This exercise is great for kids to improve their coordination, balance, and endurance.
You can slowly increase the time limit as kids get used to this exercise to motivate them to do more.
Run in One Spot
Similar to marching in one spot, you can let your kids try another variation by making them run 🏃🏽♀️ or jog in one place for a few seconds, which can be done in sets.
This is the same as marching, but kids have to adopt a faster pace by lifting their legs up and down. I believe that this is a great way for kids to burn their energy and stay fit.
I would say that alphabet 🔤 exercises were a hit in my house, as my son always looked forward to doing them.
You can find exercises that begin with each letter in the alphabet for your kids to practice the mentioned kind of exercise. I recommend you write or print alphabet cards with a movement assigned to each for kids to follow.
Trust me when I say your kids will find this activity exciting, and they will be curious about the letters and exercises for each.
Do a Plank
Planks are a popular exercise that can be done at home.
You can make your kids try to hold a plank position to strengthen their core muscles, arms, and upper bodies.
Steps to do:
- Make your kids lie down on the yoga mats on their stomachs.
- Then, you can guide them to place their hands flat on the floor and kneel on their knees.
- Now, guide them to straighten their arms and legs and lift themselves off the ground.
- Kids can balance their bodies with the help of their arms and legs and hold the plank for a few seconds.
You can make your kids do this standard plank like this or a modified version in which they can rest their forearms to balance their bodies.
Do a Side Plank
After the usual plank, you can encourage your kids to try and hold a side plank position, too.
Steps to do:
- Make your kids start the exercise by lying on the yoga mats on one side of their bodies.
- Then, instruct them to rest their elbows and ankles on the ground and lift their bodies off the floor.
- They can hold this position for a few seconds, move on to the other side, and repeat the same plank position.
Touch the Toes
Touching☝🏼 the toes is an effective exercise for kids to improve their flexibility.
Make your kids stand straight, bend down, and touch their toes with their arms. They can try to do this without bending their knees. You can instruct them to hold their toes for a few seconds, release their arms, and return to standing.
Initially, your kids might not be able to bend and touch their toes easily, but over time, they become more flexible and can do it better.
Do a Military Crawl
Apart from running and jumping, crawling is also an essential movement for kids to strengthen their core muscles and upper body. So, you can get your kids to try the military 🪖 crawl.
Steps to do:
- Make your kids lie down on the floor with their stomachs on the ground.
- Then, get them to crawl forward using their elbows and forearms.
- To make it easier for kids, they can also use their knees to push themselves ahead.
My son initially found this a bit difficult, but he now enjoys doing military crawls as an exercise.
Stand on One Leg
Your kids will have fun trying to balance themselves on one leg 🦵🏼 without falling.
Make your kids stand on one leg with their arms stretched upwards or sideways. You can instruct them to stay in the same position for a few seconds or get them to count to 10. Then, repeat the same on the other leg.
This simple exercise can help your kids strengthen their core muscles and legs, improve their balance, and enhance their stability.
Sit Down and Stand Up
Your kids can do this exercise in one place while watching television or listening to music in the background.
Make your kids sit down and then stand up a few times and repeat the same routine to strengthen the legs and core muscles.
You can also encourage them to sit down and stand up without using their hands to sit and lift themselves.
You can try this exercise by including the classic game of Simon Says, where you instruct them to either sit down or stand up.
Climb a Flight of Stairs
If you have stairs at home or in your apartment building, then you can try this exercise with your kids.
You can make your kids climb up and down a flight of stairs a few times as an exercise.
To make this exercise more exciting, you can also make your kids climb the stairs a bit faster and descend the stairs with a slight jog.
Play a Game of ‘The Floor is Lava’
I recommend you introduce your kids to a game of ‘The Floor Is Lava’ 🌋, and I guarantee they will enjoy it, just like my son did.
What you can do:
- You can place a series of household items, like pillows, cushions, blankets, yoga mats, cardboard cutouts, etc., on the floor.
- Place them in such a way that you leave a few spots on the surface of the floor visible, which denotes the lava.
- Now, instruct your kids to hop from one household item to the other without their feet touching the floor as it is the lava.
- You can change the layouts of the objects to present kids with a new challenge for every round.
- You can also create a start and end point for them to finish the game successfully.
Make sure the objects are placed close to each other to make it easier for kids to hop.
Do Jumping Jacks
Jumping jacks are on the list of my son’s favorite exercises!
Steps to do:
- Make your kids stand with their arms at their sides and feet together.
- Then, get them to jump in the air by spreading their arms and legs wide apart and instruct them to clap their hands above their heads.
- They can jump and come back to the original position and repeat the same in the form of sets.
Jumping jacks are an effective exercise and a full-body workout for kids.
Conduct a Lemon and Spoon Race
All you need for this game is a lemon 🍋 and a spoon 🥄, and I guarantee your kids will have a lot of fun.
Make your kids hold a spoon that fits the size of the lemon in their mouth. Then, place the lemon in the cavity of the spoon, and kids can race from one point to another without dropping the lemon.
Through this game, I would say kids can develop their speed, balance, and motor skills and also stay active.
I recommend you tie a rope or stick masking tape on the floor to indicate the finish line of the race.
Do Arm Circles
You can make your kids do this exercise by forming circles ⭕️ with their arms held out.
Steps to do:
- Make your kids stand in one place and hold out their arms on both sides at shoulder level.
- They should resemble a T-shape with their hands and body.
- Then, kids can rotate their arms together in circles.
- They can make circles in the forward motion for a few sets and then move on to the backward motion for a few sets.
Making circles with their arms can help kids strengthen their arms, shoulders, and their upper bodies.
Play with Balloons
Blow a balloon 🎈 or two for kids to hit them back and forth using their hands like a racket as an active game for them to play.
This activity can get your kids moving and running around to chase after the balloons before they hit the floor.
The best part about this game is that kids don’t realize the time going by, and our kids will also get a chance to exercise.
You can place a sofa or tie a rope or string across the middle of the room to act as a net over which your kids can play volleyball with the balloons.
Freeze and Dance
Dancing to songs can be fun for kids, and you can make this even more exciting by including a challenge to the usual dance 💃🏽 🕺🏾 activity.
Steps to do:
- You can play some of your kids’ favorite songs or lively music and let them dance, showing off their cool moves.
- Then, randomly pause the music in the middle for kids to freeze in the same position for a few seconds.
- Kids can start dancing when you resume the music again.
Play a Game of Hopscotch
Hopscotch is a classic game played outdoors – on your sidewalks, but you can adapt this game for your kids to play indoors.
You can cut cardboard squares with numbers to arrange a hopscotch setting by placing them on the floor. Another alternative is that you can buy a hopscotch play mat that can be used over and over again and is convenient.
Race with a Sack
This exercise is inspired by the popular potato sack races that are done outdoors on the ground.
You can bring this classic game inside your homes by making your kids stand in pillowcases or sleeping bags and hold them up around their waists. Mark the start and end points for kids to hop and race with their sacks down the hallway or from one room to another.
Skate with Socks
Your kids can enjoy a skating experience at home with just a pair of socks.
Let your kids wear their favorite pair of socks 🧦, or even an old pair of socks would also do. They can skate and slide around the floor as they would with roller skates, and it also makes for an aerobic type of exercise.
I recommend you move the furniture and objects out of the way to avoid any possible injuries.
You can give your kids a jumping rope 🪢 and let them skip for a few minutes. They can start by jumping for shorter minutes and then increase the time limit for them to skip over.
This simple exercise can help kids improve their balance and coordination and strengthen their muscles and bones.
Benefits of Indoor Exercises for Kids
Promotes Active Lifestyle
I would say that following an active lifestyle is essential for kids, and some form of exercise 🤾🏽♀️ is necessary to be included in their daily routine.
You can make your kids do a few of these activities daily as a part of their routine to encourage an active lifestyle while staying indoors.
Being physically active can help kids improve their mental health, reduce the risk of illnesses, and strengthen their bones and muscles, which leads to a healthy body, mind, and life.
As kids do these indoor exercises, they improve their fitness 🤸🏽♀️ levels over a period of time. These exercises include a lot of physical movements, which can get kids to move their bodies more by jumping, crawling, bending, etc.
I believe it is essential for our kids to be fit and healthy by consistently doing exercises that can be beneficial for their overall physical health.
Sometimes, our kids feel bored 😪 and restless due to not having much to do to keep themselves occupied at home.
When such a situation arises, you can always turn to these indoor exercises, which are fun for kids and allow them to move around the house without going to the playground or the nearby park.
Unaffected by Weather Conditions
Your kids can do these exercises within the comforts of their homes, and they don’t need to step outside. This helps when the weather conditions outside are unfavorable for exercising due to being cold, gloomy, rainy, or hot.
The hot days of summer ☀️, the sticky days of monsoons 🌧️, or the cold days of winter ❄️ do not affect these exercises, and they can be done without any need for a change of plans or disturbance.
Apart from helping kids stay fit and active, improve their bone and muscle strength, and keep their bodies healthy, these indoor exercises allow kids to have fun.
I found that my son enjoyed doing these exercises and had a good time 🤩 because of the nature of these activities, which combine physical movements combined with the elements of games.
These indoor exercises have been a blessing for me, as I could keep my son occupied and excited when he was at home. I would say that this also helped him stay active and healthy.
I hope you enjoyed reading this list of indoor exercises and found some ideas for your kids to practice.
Please comment below if you have any more indoor exercise ideas to add or any doubts for me to solve – I would love to hear your feedback! 😊
I’m a former teacher with a background in child development and a passion for creating engaging and educational activities for children. I strongly understand child development and know how to create activities to help children learn and grow. Spare time, I enjoy spending time with my family, reading, and volunteering in my community.