5 Tips to Get the Most Out of Stretching and Mobility Work
- 03 Jun - 09 Jun, 2023
Here we tell you some easy exercises for kids – movements and games that they'll enjoy and benefit from. These ideas require no equipment or large outdoor spaces. They can be done in small bursts of five to 10 minutes, or you can string several activities together for a longer physical playtime.
Running is just about the simplest form of exercise there is, and it's perfect for kids' seemingly endless energy and need for speed. Kids can run outdoors or inside: in a gym, down a hallway, or even around (and around, and around) a large table. Running can also be combined with other moves into active games, like relay races. Change things up while running: Vary movement patterns by having kids switch from running to skipping, or try running in place with feet very close to the ground (this is called "fast feet").
Get those feet up and off the ground with these easy exercises. Jumps build muscle strength, cardiovascular fitness, and endurance. And who doesn't love competing against a friend, sibling, or even an adult to see who can jump the highest? Fun jumps for kids to try include: Criss-cross feet, hurdle hops, jumping jacks, one-foot hop or tuck jumps
To make exercise more fun for kids, turn it into a game. Here are some ideas. Corners: Divide kids up so that they each have a home corner. Then, have them run around the room in a circle. On your cue, they need to return to "home" and do a few easy exercises (say, five jumping jacks or one 30-second plank). We suggest letting kids decide what exercises to do in each corner to give them ownership over the game. Go back and hit it: On "go," kids run forward in designated lanes. Then call out "back," a prompt for them to run in reverse. Finally, say "hit it!," a cue to incorporate another skill (such as a tuck jump or squat). Again, give kids input on choosing the "hit it" skill.
Playing ball games indoors or outside can be great exercise for kids. Some of the benefits include aerobic exercise, balance, and coordination practice. (Plus, kids usually gravitate toward any activity that involves a ball.) Some examples of indoor ball games that don’t require a lot of space include: Tossing balls into laundry baskets. Hitting balls at a target with a household object. Catching balls with a plastic mixing bowl. Throwing, rolling, or kicking a ball against the wall. Other ideas include dribbling, passing, and rolling a ball back and forth between partners.
Skipping can be a fun form of aerobic activity that can also challenge skills such as balance and coordination. Some skipping games to try include: Hopscotch, jumping rope, Obstacle course or Skipping tag.
The bear crawl is walking on all fours with your belly facing the floor (the opposite of the crab crawl). This movement can be a good whole-body exercise that challenges kids to use their limbs and core. First, simply have kids practice this movement, then work toward using the bear crawl in more complicated games, such as doing an obstacle course or challenging them to race to a certain location in the house and back. With care, they can also leap over each other's backs in this pose.
Yoga poses can be a fun and simple way for kids to exercise. A few easy and fun poses for kids to try include Tree Pose, Downward-Facing Dog, Upward-Facing Dog, Cobra, Child's Pose, and Happy Baby. When you're through, follow up with some simple stretches to keep muscles strong and healthy. A stretching sequence and cool-down can also help transition kids into a more relaxed state post-workout and help prevent injuries. Stretches to try include side stretch, hamstring stretch, fingers-to-toes, arm circles, arms to the sky, calf stretch, and runner's stretch.