Getting kids active this summer doesn't have to be a chore. Make exercise fun for kids ages 3 -12 this summer with a little fun and creativity

School’s out! Energy Levels are up and kids need to be able to burn that energy in a fun healthy way. Kids may be inclined to spend more time playing video games or sedentary activities like watching TV. This summer keep your kids moving and boredom at bay by making exercise fun for kids.

With summer here, it’s the perfect time for kids to get outside, soak up some sun, and have fun! And what better way to do that than by getting them moving and active? Exercise doesn’t have to be boring or feel like a chore. In fact, with a little creativity, you can make exercise enjoyable and exciting for your kiddos too!

As parents or caregivers, it’s essential to encourage children to lead healthy lifestyles from a young age. And since physical activity is an integral part of maintaining good health, finding ways to make exercise fun and engaging for kids should be at the top of our priorities this summer.

During a typical school day, kids have gym class or spend time at recess. This is a great way to burn energy during the day. Summer can halt that daily routine.

We have a great post about homeschool gym class. There are ideas there to keep your kiddos busy. We also offer the Summer Activities Kid Challenge Binder that you can download for FREE! It is packed with even more ideas to keep your kiddos moving this Summer. Starting young is the best way to create a healthy lifestyle for your entire family.

Research has shown a good predictor of an adult’s activity level is their activity level from childhood! Helping them be regularly active is setting a good foundation making an active lifestyle even more critical for children… not only for their health today but also for their future health and fitness levels.

Fun Exercise For Kids is Backed by Research

There are many benefits of physical activity and according to the AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics), Physical activity plays an important role in children’s cardiovascular health, musculoskeletal health, mental and behavioral health, and physical, social, and cognitive development.

The CDC (Centers for Disease Control) recommends children exercise at least 60 minutes per day. Weekly exercises should include:

  1. Aerobic Activity – Moderate & vigorous intensity
  2. Muscle Strengthening – (Gymnastics and pushups)
  3. Bone Strengthening – (Running, jumping rope)

Let’s Break Each of These Types of Exercises Down a Bit More. 


  • The majority of the recommended 60+ minutes of exercise/day
  • Moderate intensity (e.g. brisk walking) to vigorous intensity (e.g. running)
  • Perform vigorous activity at least 3 days/week)

Muscle Strengthening

  • Perform at least 3 days/week as part of the 60+ minutes/day
  • Examples include gymnastics, climbing on a jungle gym, push-ups
  • Adolescents or older kids may include weight training

Bone Strengthening

  • Perform at least 3 days/week as part of the 60+ minutes/day
  • Examples include jumping rope and running
Getting kids active this summer doesn't have to be a chore. Make exercise fun for kids this summer with a little creativity and enthusiasm!

Fun Exercise Ideas to keep kids moving

Exercise can come in many forms for children. Organized sports are an incredible way to teach kids athletic skills, develop a sense of teamwork, and learn to listen to and respect coaches. Unorganized activities are also a great source of daily exercise! Whether kids are running around the playground, climbing the monkey bars, or working their way through an obstacle course, the key is they’re moving while having fun! Here are some fun exercise ideas to keep kids moving this summer:

  • Join a sports team
  • Swim
  • Kayak
  • Bike
  • Hike
  • Sign up for a family-friendly race and train together
  • Try lifetime sports like tennis and golf
  • Rock climbing wall
  • Trampoline park
  • Gymnastics
  • Play at the park – Try to do the same activities your kids are doing. Can you keep up? 
  • Go to a fit trail as a family

Here are Some Fun Activities for the Whole Family

You kids will have so much fun if you get involved or involve the neighborhood kids for even bigger games. 

  • Red Light Green Light
  • Have a Treasure Hunt
  • Hopscotch
  • Kickball
  • Kick the Can
  • Capture the Flad
  • Flag Football
  • Baseball
  • Relay Races
  • Spud
  • Ultimate Frisbee
  • Crab walk races
  • Nature Bike Ride – See how many different plants or animal life you can see along the way

Active Indoor Games for a Rainy Day

Rainy days may feel like a bummer to your summer fun but they can be a great way to incorporate games that burn energy while having fun. Although you may be tempted to increase screen time, your kiddo’s mental health will thank you for having active games planned ahead of time so you can avoid the draw to turn to a device. If you want to use a device, try the picture treasure hunt idea listed below.

  • Twister
  • Dance Class (You can find all sorts of Dance Class Videos on YouTube) Help direct your kids to something that will be fun and get their bodies moving
  • Picture Treasure Hunt – Use a device to take pictures of the items on the treasure hunt list. To increase the intensity, set a timer.
  • Indoor circuits – This could include activities such as going up and down stairs, tossing a ball into a basket, going through or around a hula hoop, 
  • Try different exercises to get that heart rate up. Do each one 10 times and do three sets of each. This can include simple exercises such as sit-ups on an exercise ball, jumping jacks, mountain climbers, high knees, bear crawls, forward lunges, forward bend, or any basic exercise to encourage healthy habits. 
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For More Fun Exercises for Your Kids Set up a circuit in your backyard.

Have stations around the yard and rotate quickly every minute, use a set amount of time, or work at your own pace, depending on your family’s needs.  Stations are a great way to turn fun exercises into regular exercise for your kids. Stations may include agility ladders, jumping rope, squats (advanced option – add medicine ball overhead press), lunges (advanced option – add medicine ball twist), jumping jacks, lateral walks with mini-band resistance loops around lower legs, push-ups, and planks.

At home, have your kids gather their friends and set up an obstacle course! While they think they are just having fun… we know they are actually circuit training! 

Stations can include:

Cool off afterward with a celebratory run through the sprinkler!

Help your child discover the joys of being physically active this summer!

Summer Get Healthy Kids Challenge Binder. Getting kids active this summer doesn't have to be a chore. Make exercise fun for kids ages 3 -12 this summer with a little fun and creativity

Make Exercise Fun For Kids and Get the Summer Active Kids Challenge

Need More Ideas?

Grab our Summer Active Kids Challenge. It’s Free and it’s packed with activities, ideas for active play, and snacks for the whole summer. This is great for kids Ages 3 to 12+. 

Getting kids active this summer doesn’t have to be a chore. Make exercise fun for kids with a little creativity and enthusiasm, exercise can become a fun part of their daily routine. From backyard games to group activities with friends, there are countless ways to get kids moving and having fun in the sun.

So, let’s make this summer one to remember by encouraging our children to embrace an active lifestyle and have a blast while doing it! Let’s get out there and get moving!

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