10 Fun Exercises Kids Can Do At Home

Feb 2, 2023 9:17:00 AM

Written By:
Dr. Matt Hand


Are your kids going stir crazy this winter? It’s cold outside and with kids trapped indoors, they don’t have the space they need to do their usual physical activities. With some creative thinking, you can spice up drab winter days with fun ways to get their energy out, even if you’re stuck inside. Here are 10 fun exercises kids can do inside the house to stay active and keep busy. 

Risks of a Sedentary Lifestyle for Kids

Kids, like adults, need physical activity all year round. It’s easy in the summer, when we’re all hiking, biking, and running around the neighborhood. When winter rolls around, it’s tempting to stay indoors and watch television until spring. 

A sedentary lifestyle is not a healthy choice for kids or adults.  A lack of physical activity can lead to a host of unwanted outcomes, including:

  • Weight Gain. Being sedentary can lead to excess weight gain, which makes it challenging for the body to regulate blood sugar levels.
  • Cardiovascular Issues. A lack of physical exercise can lead to poor cardiovascular health, including difficulty maintaining healthy blood pressure or cholesterol levels.
  • Weak Muscles and Bones. A sedentary lifestyle leads to poor muscle tone and bone strength, which increases the chance of injury. This can in turn prevent children from taking part in spring sports or other physical activities. 
  • Poor Mental Health. Low levels of physical exercise leads to lower serum levels of feel-good neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin, which regulate our moods, behavior, and sleep patterns. 
  • Poor Posture and Neck Balance. A sedentary lifestyle lends itself to poor posture and improper development of muscles controlling the head and neck, and can also lead to increased instances of back pain. 
  • Poor Sleep. A lack of physical activity can lead to interrupted sleep, which can cause mood disturbances and trouble communicating effectively with teachers or caregivers. 


While young children tend to stay active naturally, older children need more encouragement working physical exercise into the winter routine. Children of all ages need to stay active to promote cardiovascular health, proper growth and development, and balanced moods and emotions. 

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Ten Fun Exercises to do with Kids of All Ages at Home

Staying active indoors doesn’t have to be restricting. With common household items like masking tape and water bottles, the whole family can enjoy these exercises. Here are our top ten physical activities to keep exercise fun all winter:

  1. Dance. Put on some family-friendly, upbeat music, and throw your own dance party. Wiggle, jump, and squirm to engage all of your muscle groups and raise your heart rate.
  2. Navigate an Obstacle Course. Rearrange the furniture, stack boxes and bins, and design a challenging—but safe—indoor obstacle course to work through. Your fine motor skills will reap the rewards as you improve balance and coordination through the twists and turns.
  3. Practice Yoga. Improve muscle strength and increase flexibility with a multitude of online yoga classes for kids you can do as a family from the comfort of the living room. Make it fun for even the littlest kids by trying to form each letter of the alphabet with your body. 
  4. Go Bowling. Hallways, basements, or any long open spaces lend themselves to this classic pastime. Use a lightweight ball to knock down empty (or ¼ full) water bottles, and watch the crowd go wild with delight. You’ll improve flexibility while building hand-eye coordination. 
  5. Do Jumping Jacks. This simple exercise can be done even in small spaces, and it really gets your heart rate up to improve cardiovascular health and burn excess calories. 
  6. Compete in a Family Fitness Challenge. Use a free app or make an old-fashioned color-coded wall chart to keep track of who does what physical exercises throughout the day or week. The most active family member gets a prize!
  7. Play Hopscotch. With the help of some easy-to-remove masking tape, you can turn the floor into a classic hopscotch pattern of squares. Take turns trying to jump through the sequence on alternating feet. 
  8. Hula Hoop. Have a hula hoop contest to see who can swivel the hips and maintain full body balance and coordination the longest. 
  9. Animal Races. One family member gets to choose the animal for each round, then you’ll race across the room in that fashion. Waddling like a duck, scuttling like a crab, or hopping like a rabbit all engage different muscle groups, so you’ll end up with a full body workout. 
  10. Allow Electronics… that include physical exercise! Certain game systems utilize movement-sensing controllers that get you off the couch and actively engaged in sports, albeit virtually. 

Safety Considerations

Have fun, but stay safe. Engaging in physical activity inside the home presents its own challenges, and it's important to be mindful of physical limitations and spatial concerns. 

The days are shorter and energy levels naturally fall a bit lower in the winter months. Certain Norwegian cultures cherish the winter months as a time for “hygge”—a time to slow down, savor the real joys of family, friends, and food. 

Winter affords us plenty of time to rest and engage in some fun, family-friendly, physical activities, too. Staying active through the winter keeps our muscles moving and sets children up for success when outdoor activities and sports start again in the spring. 

Exercise should be fun and healthy, not a punishment. Keep kids engaged indoors by regularly rotating through their favorite activities. Always check with the pediatrician before starting new exercise routines, particularly if the child has a pre-existing health condition. 




Staying physically active during the winter months can be challenging for the whole family, but there are ways to make exercise fun for kids. 

Think outside the box and bring some classical outdoor activities—like hopscotch or hula hooping—into the basement or living room. Turn the hallway into a bowling alley or start each day with a family yoga session. 

Whichever activities your family prefers, the most important thing is staying active. A sedentary lifestyle is associated with several health risks, and physical exercise ameliorates these factors. When kids engage in physical activities during the day, they keep their muscles and bones strong, their moods and behaviors balanced, and their sleep deep and restful.


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*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.