What are the Different Types of Kids' Fitness Games?

Erin J. Hill

There are various types of kids' fitness games, many of which are games that have been around for a while. Some are similar to traditional adult exercise programs, like sporting events and simple aerobic and stretching exercises, and others are strategic games that involve lots of running or jumping while playing. Since most children do not have long attention spans, the most effective kids' fitness games generally involve simple rules along with the chance to chase one another, run around, or play with accessories like bouncing balls.

Enrolling children in team sports is one way to encourage their fitness.
Enrolling children in team sports is one way to encourage their fitness.

Most games enjoyed by children for generations are wonderful kids' fitness games. For example, tag is a long time favorite for kids because it involves lots of movement and running without strict rules to remember and follow. Ball games, hopscotch, and hide and seek are also examples. Traditional exercise routines can be too rigid and uninteresting for young children, so playing games like these is often a more productive way to get them active.

Jumping on a trampoline is great exercise for kids.
Jumping on a trampoline is great exercise for kids.

Kids may also enjoy games that involve unconventional fitness equipment. For instance, exercise balls and mini trampolines are excellent kids' fitness games that double as exercise and a fun activity. Anything that involves bouncing or jumping is usually a hit with children in all age groups.

Kids who eat nutritious foods typically have a healthier immune system than kids who don't.
Kids who eat nutritious foods typically have a healthier immune system than kids who don't.

Various types of video gaming systems are also providing kids' fitness games for children to enjoy. Dancing games and interactive sports or aerobic games in which the child is able to pretend as though he or she is actually playing on screen with the characters are popular among children of all age groups. Adults and teens often find these games entertaining as well, since they come in all experience levels and themes.

Other examples of kids' fitness games include videos which encourage kids to dance and jump along with fun characters and music. These can be in the form of children’s exercise videos that are meant solely as a workout option for young children, or in regular television programming with a positive message about fitness and eating healthy.

Typically, any activity that gets a child moving is a good kids' exercise game. Jumping on a pogo stick, riding a bike, playing in the sprinklers, swimming, swinging, jumping rope, and other activities are all excellent ways for kids to stay in shape when combined with a healthy diet. Organized team sports are also a great idea for those who are interested, but are definitely not necessary.

Most fitness-based video games are suitable for the whole family.
Most fitness-based video games are suitable for the whole family.

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Discussion Comments

Fa5t3r

@pleonasm - The only problem I can see with that game is that with everyone playing for their own score, someone is going to have to come last and kids often aren't very good at reacting well when they don't win. If you've got a whole team with you it's much easier. So I wouldn't play a game with individual scoring unless I either knew the kids could handle it, or if they were old enough that it wasn't going to be as much of an issue.

I know some people think competitive sports are needed to toughen kids up, but they probably just don't remember or never knew how awful it can be to always come last. It doesn't toughen you up, it just makes you feel more and more worthless. Elementary fitness games should be about building confidence, not crushing it.

pleonasm

My nephew and I always end up playing a variation of kickball when he comes visiting and I think it's a variation that can be used for most ball games if you've got the equipment for them. Basically you just have two players, with one acting as the pitcher and one acting as the kicker and the kicker has to run between two places (like the side of the house and a particular tree) to score points rather than around bases.

The pitcher has to get the ball and tag the kicker with it in order to stop them. If you've got more than two people you just add them to the outfield but every person keeps their own individual score and takes turns kicking and pitching.

pastanaga

If you've got nothing else on hand, Simon Says is always going to be a classic. It's the one I use whenever I get caught out with a bunch of restless kids and no lesson plan handy.

All the kids will either know how to play it, or they will pick it up very quickly and it can be as active as you want it to be. It's also somewhat competitive without being too hard on anyone so it should be pretty fun.

If you teach, you need to build up a repertoire of different games for your students, but if you haven't got time to teach them a new one this one is perfect for getting some exercise and filling in time.

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