Active at home – Active with kids

Active at home

Workouts to keep kids active while at home

Fitness at home for you and your kids

Here are some fun kid cardio ideas to get even your youngest athletes moving from Desi Bartlett, founder of Mothers Into Living Fit Program and author of Your Strong, Sexy Pregnancy.

Activity: Around the World

The Whole World in Your Hands fitness activity allows children to exercise their entire body through physical challenges. By keeping children moving, this activity helps to strengthen heart and lungs, build muscle, and increase flexibility. Authors Carol Scaini and Carolyn Evans include this activity in their book, 50 Games for Going Green.

Eco Thought

One simple day of action can have a huge impact on the health and well-being of the planet. Each of us has a hand in the future of our world, and together we can make a difference. Take responsibility for your actions and find ways to make a positive impact on the earth. What little green deed can you do?


  • One medium sized ball per child
  • Music

How to Play

Students perform the following exercises for a count of 8, 10, or 12 seconds or for 8, 10, or 12 reps, depending on the activity.

Earth walk:

  • Walk around holding the ball in front.

Around the world:

  • Place the ball at your feet.
  • Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and knees slightly bent.
  • Pick up the ball, reach out to the side, extend ball overhead and back to the floor in a circular motion, and repeat.
  • Change directions.

Keeping the world strong:

  • Start with feet shoulder-width apart and knees slightly bent.
  • Hold the ball against the wall, step away from the wall and perform a push-up with hands on the ball at chest level, and repeat.

Take care of the earth:

  • Start with feet shoulder-width apart, and knees slightly bent.
  • Hold the ball out in front, twist at the waist to the left, and return to the center.
  • Twist at the waist to the right and return to center.
  • Repeat sequence.


  • Start with feet shoulder-width apart and knees slightly bent.
  • With arms extended holding the ball, perform a squat and return to standing position.
  • Variation: Raise ball over head.

Lifting the earth:

  • Place feet shoulder-width apart with ball on the ground.
  • Starting on the right side, bend down to pick up the ball and reach up diagonally to the left side.
  • Repeat action on the opposite side.

Hug the earth:

  • Place feet shoulder-width apart.
  • With knees slightly bent, extend the ball with outstretched arms.
  • Hold and pull it in to hug the ball.
  • Variation: Balance on one foot.
  • Variation: Balance on one foot and extend the other leg outward.

Supporting the earth:

  • Place the ball behind you in the small of your back and lean against the wall.
  • Squat with arms extended and hold the position for three to five seconds.
  • Return to starting position.


  • All ball activities may be performed against a wall for extra support.
  • All of these activities can easily become an exercise ball circuit.


  • Have students create their own moves!

Activity: Comic book moves

Equipment: Magazines (including comic books or graphic novels), poster paper, marker

Time: 15 to 20 minutes

Activity Category: Individual pursuits

Safety: Ensure that the activity space is a safe distance from walls and free of hazards (e.g., benches, equipment, basketball nets, holes, loose gravel, wet grass); remove or mark any hazards. Provide safe distances between games occurring in the same space. Remind participants to keep their heads up and to be aware of others when moving through the space.

Activity Instructions:

Prior to the activity, participants look through comic books, graphic novels, and magazines noting action words such as pow, crash, zip, bam, wow, and splat that suggest a sound and a corresponding action. Record their words on poster paper.

Display the poster paper for reference throughout the activity. Participants scatter throughout the activity space. When you call out an action word from the poster, everyone travels through the space in a way that reflects the action word. Draw attention to those who are moving in creative and unique ways.

Call out two action words together so that participants have to demonstrate two movements in a sequence. Next, call out a series of four to six action words that participants must demonstrate in a sequence while moving throughout the space (each word should have its own movement).

After an appropriate amount of time, participants form groups of four or five and create a movement sequence from four to six action words. Encourage them to call out their words while performing them.


To decrease the challenge:

  • Decrease the intensity of the movements.
  • Focus on only a couple of spatial concepts (e.g., direction, pathway).
  • Allow participants to respond to their own action words.

To increase the challenge:

  • Require faster movements.
  • Have participants change movements often.
  • Place participants in pairs to perform the action words.
  • Add equipment (e.g., scarves, wooden dowel, ribbons).

The surprising benefits of strength training for children

For many years, the use of resistance training to increase muscular strength and endurance in prepubescent and adolescent boys and girls was controversial. Boys and girls were discouraged from using free weights for fear that they might injure themselves or interfere with the growth process.

It is now widely accepted that properly designed resistance training programmes are safe and effective for youth and adolescents.

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Books featured

50 Games for Going Green

Physical Activities That Teach Healthy Environmental Concepts

Carol Scaini, Carolyn Evans



Physical Literacy on the Move

Games for Developing Confidence and Competence in Physical Activity

Heather Gardner



Your Strong, Sexy Pregnancy

A Yoga and Fitness Plan

Desi Bartlett, Lori Bregman