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Exercises for kids


With the new school term under way, and it looking like the kids will be home schooled for some of it, it’s a good idea to think about how to keep them healthy, focused and happy while at home with exercise.

Kids need a lot of exercise and movement to help with their high energy levels, and regular breaks to help with their learning. Regular exercise breaks during the day help them to re-focus on their learning, and can be great stress relief for kids – and adults!

I asked a few of my teacher friends what they recommend to break up learning time for an exercise stop. The answer: intersperse 45 minutes of learning with 15 minutes of exercise, and mix it up between directed (your choice) and letting the kids have a say.

Here are four 15-minute sessions for you to try with the kids, as well as some exercises and games to have a go at!


  • 5 mins jog/run/brisk walk
  • 30 secs seated hamstring single leg stretch, 2 x each leg
  • 2 mins back rolls, knees move left to right
  • 30 secs quad stretch: lying on your side, grab your ankle and pull heel towards your bottom, 2 x each leg
  • 4 x 30 secs hanging stretch: hang from monkey bars (or something similar)
  • 2 mins breathing, focusing on each breath and reflecting  


Do each of the following for 2 minutes:  

  • Backyard shuttle runs (5-10m) – time these!
  • Single leg hopping, 20 each leg then switch 
  • Skipping 
  • Ball bouncing, 20 each hand then switch
  • Step-ups
  • 1 minute rest!
  • Backyard shuttle runs – try and beat your first time!
  • Skipping


  • 2 mins plank (start smaller and build up to the 2 mins)
  • 2 mins push-ups (on knees, make sure the form is correct!)
  • 2 mins squats
  • 2 mins dips
  • 2 mins sit-ups (fingers to knees)
  • 10 x jumps (as high as they can!)
  • 2 mins standing overhead punches
  • 1 min push-up hold

Fun and games!

  • Hide and find: hide 5-10 different objects in the yard, each one with an exercise on it, as they find it they do the exercise alongside you. 
  • Ball challenge: have two people bounce a ball each, then when the whistle blows, throw them to each other and catch. Whenever you drop the ball, you have to do a push-up and then start the challenge again.
  • Sit and chat about fun activities to try!

Other activity ideas:  

  • Kick to kick
  • Basketball
  • Soccer
  • Table tennis
  • Relay runs
  • Walk and talk
  • Backyard tennis
  • Boxing

More health and fitness:

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