5 tips to get the kids up and moving

In just one generation we have seemingly gone from carefree days spent playing down the street or at the local park, when we wouldn’t come home until the street lights came on, to a generation of children who are becoming much more sedentary.

As well as improving their wellbeing, getting kids up and moving can help kids learn about social skills, develop imagination and creativity, build confidence and independence and increase strength and fitness. The key to encouraging kids to increase their activity is to find ways to make it fun.

Fun ways to get kids moving

1. Get up and dance

Instead of putting the TV on for ‘background noise’, pop some music on. It is amazing how it gets everyone moving! Musical statues is always a favourite for little kids and older kids can show off their talents in a dance-off. If you just can’t get them away from YouTube then have them hunt out some ‘how to’ dance videos and record their efforts. Learn to ‘whip nae nae’ or, try the latest crazes, ‘the floss’ and ‘hype’. Show your future hip hop stars the ‘running man’ or the ‘sprinkler’ for a good laugh!

2. Create an outdoor toy box

It may be an oxymoron, but doing a bit of preparation beforehand can encourage kids to engage in spontaneous activity. Setting up an outdoor activity toy box will give the kids easy access to some equipment they can use in energetic play, ie hula hoop, skipping rope, balls, rackets. Let’s face it, if the kids have to go hunting for the things they want to play with, they are more likely to just plonk down in front of the TV instead! You can also use the box as a ‘homework recess’ – an incentive to work through a set amount of homework before having some time out.

3. Game on!

Do you have a family movie night, sat for a couple of hours with a bucket of popcorn? Why not change it to a fun activity with the added bonus of getting everyone moving? Try mini golf, ten pin bowling, laser tag, paintball, roller skating or ice skating. Keep an eye out for local events too. If you want to stay home, Nerf wars, scavenger hunts, karaoke, Twister, bowling, and even charades involve plenty of movement, especially if you really get into it.

4. Video games … no, really!

A lot of kids these days (OK, now I sound like my mother) are very involved with video games. When they’re not playing them, they’re watching other people play them – what’s that about? Rather than removing the games altogether, encourage them to spend most of their gaming time playing games that require movement. The gaming world may have moved on from playing tennis or ten pin bowling with a controller strapped to your wrist, but these old school games are still great fun. New VR technology unleashes another dimension of movement-initiated gaming.

5. Let’s walk

If the kids are the competitive kind (is there any other?), consider a steps challenge. There are various activity trackers available, including the popular Fitbit, which will give you a daily steps count. Whoever gets the most steps for the week, decides on an activity for the weekend. Encourage kids to use the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator, walk to school or the local shops, walk to after-school activities, or park at the far end of the parking lot. Entering into fun runs/walks, kids’ triathlons and training for school cross country or athletics days also gives the kids something to aim for.

Read more on Kidspot:



  1. felicity beets 30/06/2018 at 9:22 pm

    Dancing is an awesome indoor activity for children especially if you have some kids musical instruments like bells and shakers. They also have so many ideas you can copy on youtube which are fun.

  2. kymmage 27/06/2018 at 8:15 am

    We have a Nintendo Switch and there is a game on it, called 1,2 Switch I think. Anyway, it has lots of cool one or two player games that involve you getting up and moving with the controllers. Before that we had a XBox Kinect and that was good too. We would do a Jedi training game and it left me a sweaty mess! ha ha The other day, we also put a music video playlist on the TV and bopped around. The kids love having a sing and a boogie.

  3. MuddledUpMolly 25/06/2018 at 9:37 pm

    I am lucky to have two kids who love to be outdoors so we do not find it a problem getting them up and involved in something physical together

  4. Mands1980 21/06/2018 at 3:28 pm

    My kids love Spotify music it’s great they love dancing. You tube sounds good too finding dance videos I havnt thought about that. Our kids love nerf wars down our hall way and outside drives me crazy some days as they have pillows as bunkers so they don’t get hit inside or leave bullets outside. We have done the weetbix triathalon the last 3 years and the kids love this it’s a fun filled day.

  5. Bevik1971 20/06/2018 at 10:19 am

    We walk pretty much everywhere as we live in the centre of town, so even if we want to go to the library and get some more books, we walk. She is always dancing around the house with her Daddy as they both love music and do this daily, so good exercise

  6. Shorrty4life1 19/06/2018 at 6:48 pm

    What a great idea to do a steps challenge. I always have music on the TV during the day. My kids love singing and dancing. I’m forever telling them to do their craziest dance ever and that gets them being very competitive and trying to win against one another. It’s pretty funny and keeps them active meanwhile gives me a laugh and makes me smile so it’s a win win. Happy child happy mum ♥

Leave A Comment