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100 Fun Activities For Family Fitness

by Sarah on June 18, 2011

share save 171 16 100 Fun Activities For Family Fitness

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What’s one of the biggest obstacles to bringing family fitness into your family life? Ideas.

Just like our kids, we inevitably get hit with that question, “What should we do?”

The first secret to making family fitness work, is to grab little moments and sneak activity in.  The second secret is to streamline things so you can quickly move from planning to doing.

To apply both of these secrets, the last thing you want to be spending time doing is trying to come up with an inspiration for activity.

So to make that question, “What should we do?” disappear like dust in the wind, I pulled my husband and kids together to brainstorm a list of fun activities for family fitness.

Initially I was just thinking let’s try to get to 100. But then I realized this could get much better and bigger . . .

I’d love for you to add your ideas and favorite activities here. Just put them in the comments. Let’s see how far we can go!

(By the way, I realized I cheated a bit here.  I didn’t notice it the first time I wrote this up but I put cleaning the house down twice as an activity. You can see where I want to get the crew moving! And yes, active chores count!)

  1. Play tag
  2. Play hide and seek
  3. Toss the football
  4. Play ultimate football (Make teams and see how you can move the ball up to your goal line by simply doing several passes in a row back and forth. Other team tries to intercept.)
  5. Play soccer
  6. Play monkey in the middle soccer.
  7. See who can shoot 10 basket ball baskets first
  8. 1-on-1 (or 1-on-2 or 1-on-3 or 2-on-2, any configuration that works for your family) basketball
  9. Climb a tree
  10. Relay racesWrestling
  11. Go ice skating
  12. Play ice skating tag
  13. Go pick-your-own fruits (apples, strawberries) at a local farm
  14. Go on a hike
  15. Go on a bike ride
  16. Roll down a hill and then run back up
  17. Go swimming
  18. See who can tread water the longest
  19. Dive under each others’ legs in the water
  20. Have a splash fight while you’re swimming
  21. Play sea monster: Lie in the shallow water, holding yourself up with your hands. And then move yourself using your hands (with your feet floating behind) to chase down your little guys as they run up onto the beach and back. (Be warned: Lots of screams and giggles!)
  22. Laser tag
  23. Squirt gun/water balloon fight
  24. Stretching Olympics
  25. Can You Do This?
  26. Go for a walk
  27. Go for a funny walk
  28. Create an indoor obstacle course
  29. Create an outdoor obstacle course
  30. Jumping contest
  31. Jump rope solo
  32. Jump rope with two swingers holding the rope
  33. Hoola hoop
  34. Make a giant body map
  35. Play Simon Says
  36. Play Dodge ball (use a very soft ball)
  37. Play a game of badminton (no net needed)
  38. Play volleyball
  39. Run around with your dog
  40. Play Follow the Leader
  41. Play Mother May I
  42. Play Red Light- Green Light
  43. Play Hopscotch (Hint, very creative hopscotch courses are fine!)
  44. Go on a canoe ride or kayak
  45. Rollerblade
  46. Family running
  47. Rollerskate to disco tunes at a roller rink
  48. Plant a garden
  49. Weed the garden
  50. Rake the yard
  51. Go snowboarding and skiing
  52. Do a ropes course or go ziplining
  53. Do wheelbarrow races: Hold your children by their legs, standing behind them and have them try to walk using only their arms
  54. Go rock climbing or to an indoor climbing gym
  55. Dance
  56. Follow the leader dance
  57. Do yoga together
  58. Have a snowball fight
  59. Shovel the driveway
  60. Clean the house
  61. Play baseball
  62. Play Eskimo baseball (instead of a diamond, run between two lines back and forth after hitting the ball.)
  63. Catch leaves in the autumn
  64. Jump on a trampoline
  65. Learn martial arts together
  66. Play charades
  67. Skip rocks over a pond or lake
  68. Go on an early morning walk
  69. Play leapfrog.
  70. Go on a scavenger hunt around the house and yard
  71. Spin until you’re dizzy and then do 50 meter dash.
  72. Throw a Frisbee around
  73. See how many times you can throw Frisbee around family circle without dropping it.
  74. Cartwheel competition. Race with cartwheels. See who can do the most in a minute. See who can do the most period.
  75. Play ultimate Frisbee. (Try to score a goal by passing frisbee as you run up the field towards your goal line. Other team tries to intercept)
  76. Go to the beach and jump over the waves.
  77. Run on the beach.
  78. Lie on the ground with your baby and imitate everything your baby does (great Yoga stretch, trying to eat your foot!)
  79. Put your baby in a Snugli baby carrier  or simply hold them close to you and dance with your baby to the music together.
  80. Hop on one foot. Race hopping on one foot. See how far you can go hopping on one foot.
  81. See how far you can jump.
  82. Family tug of war. Tie rope around your waists and pull in opposite direction. See who can get to their line first.Play balloon volleyball in the living room.
  83. Play the Blob tag – once “It” tags someone, then that person becomes “It” too.
  84. Create a balance beam or tight rope between two trees just 6 inches off the ground and see if you can balance and walk.
  85. Clean the house with music blasting.
  86. Turn your children into free weights and lift them up and down. (Even more challenging since free weights don’t wiggle!)
  87. Play human bowling ball: Parent rolls on ground lying straight and children jump over you.
  88. Go sledding, everyone tromps up the hill.
  89. Have a two-legged hopping race.
  90. Go snowshoeing.
  91. Roll big snowballs and make a snowman.
  92. Race in the deep snow.
  93. Make snow angels.
  94. See how many somersaults you can do in a row.
  95. Practice water rescue. Parent, you sit just about waist deep for your child. Your child grabs your arms and pulls you to shore. (Kids love to be the rescuer!)
  96. Dive under water for rocks, diving rings, or any other object that will sink but remain visible.
  97. Move rocks around under water either swimming or walking and make a pile.
  98. Go sock-skating. Put on socks and skid across vinyl or wood floors. Put on music for extra momentum!
  99. Explore a new park.
  100. Explore a new city or neighborhood on foot. (We walked from 87th St. in Manhattan all the way to Brooklyn once!)

What are your ideas to add here? Let’s make this list as big as we can!

  • Cdtopliff

    Additional exercise ideas:
       Ride bicycles
       Softball / Baseball
       Canoeing /rowing a boat

  • Sarah

    Great additions! We had a regular hopscotch marking on our driveway for a whole summer!

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  • jump rope tricks

    comparing fitness skipping ropes to other weight loss gadgets such as wheel
    rollers, ab burners, or even treadmills or stationary bikes, fitness skipping
    ropes are way cheaper and actually as or more effective at helping you lose

  • Jen

    We like to go rock hounding. We have found trilobites, topaz, etc.
    Twister game
    Geo caching or letterboxing
    Nerf wars, like the laser tag idea you suggested except Nerf guns
    Running through sprinklers
    Other kid games like Annie, Annie over

  • Sarah Clachar

    Jen, great suggestions. Yes, I forgot how much fun running through sprinklers is! Thank you for adding these!

  • Dee

    I love the activities mentioned above!

    101. Our family rolls up daddy’s socks and have sock wars!

    102. Flying kites.

    103. My parents made this up. It was real fun! They tied one end of a rope around their waist and the other end of the rope around our waist. Then they stood at the top of a not too steep hill, holding the rope as we held the rope too, climbing up and down the hill. We just loved this and felt like professional mountain climbers!

  • Sarah Clachar

    I love these additions. I have great memories of imagining I was cresting Mt. Everest while clambering up a boulder or steep slope!

  • Christine Farrell

    My boys loved castles and history when they were wee – so lots of walking, no matter what the weather. If you’ve had to go in the car, have a bag of dry t-shirts, shorts, shoes and an old towel, then it doesn’t matter how wet you get in the rain, you can all be dry and comfy for the journey home!

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