Fun Ways to Exercise At Home with Kids

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With pools, gyms and outdoor fitness equipment temporarily closed due to COVID-19, you may have found it harder to motivate yourself to exercise this year. Add working from home and kids at home from school, and the prospect of exercise might even seem completely daunting for some parents and caregivers. But now, more than ever, it’s important that we keep exercising regularly, not only for our physical health but also for our mental and emotional wellbeing.

I find that it’s much easier to adhere to regular exercise if it’s simple, easily accessible and enjoyable. Below are some of my favourite fun workouts. All of these workouts can be done at home and require little to no equipment. If, like me, you require structure and routine, I’ve collated them into a free printable 7-day plan. I’ve also included some tips for daily motivation to move.

There’s no better time to involve the whole family in healthy exercise habits, so grab the kids and head into the backyard for some sunshine, fresh air and exercise!

Tips for keeping motivated to move

Work out as a family

Exercising together will not only enable you to motivate each other but will reduce the chance of distraction from having to tend to the needs of little ones. If you have a baby or toddler who is too young to join in, plan ahead and set them up with a playpen and some toys.

Schedule time to exercise

Try to make this the same time each day and ensure that the whole family knows that this is ‘exercise time.’ Choose a time that is as convenient as possible for all family members. Set an alarm on your phone 10 minutes before your scheduled exercise time so you don’t forget and to allow everyone time to get organised with mats, towels and water bottles.

Collate a ripper playlist

Great music makes all the difference! There are a lot of fantastic workout playlists on Spotify. ‘Like’ all your favourite songs and build your own ultimate exercise playlist.

Recruit the help of a virtual fitness buddy

Share this article with a friend. Ask them to check in and hold you accountable to working out every day, then return the favour. Share workout photos, stories, playlists and motivational quotes.

Dress for the occasion

Exercising in your pyjamas or everyday clothes might seem convenient, but changing into comfortable workout clothes and shoes will help put you in the right headspace for exercise.

Track your progress

Mark with an X on your wall calendar for each day that you commit to at least half an hour of medium to high-intensity exercise. This visual tool will help motivate you by enabling you to see your progress. Aim to fill most of the month with X’s.

Reward yourself

Set yourself a simple, achievable goal and choose a (non-food related) reward. It could be as simple as giving yourself a day off if you achieve 6 days in a row of committed half-hour exercise. Make the kids work for their television time by rewarding them with things such as an hour of screen time for an hour of exercise.

Use visual motivational tools

Create a fitness’ vision board’. Find pictures of healthy people, inspirational quotes and things that inspire you and place them somewhere where you will see them every day.

Practice self-care

Be kind to yourself. It’s perfectly normal to lack motivation at times of high stress and overwhelm. You may miss seeing your friends at the gym or swimming laps at the local pool, but it’s important to remember that the situation we’re currently in is unique and it will end. Keep moving, where possible, and see every day as one day closer to your regular routine.


7 Fun Family Workouts To Try


(All of the moves can be found on the internet if you’re not sure what they are)

Roll the Dice workout #1

You need: 2 dice, mat or towel (for crunches and plank/hover holds), a timer

Roll a dice to establish how many sets of each exercise you will do. Roll it again to establish how many repetitions you will do in each set. Then you complete the 8 exercises one after the other. Do the first round at low intensity to warm up. When you have finished have a breather/drink break and roll the dice again. Continue for a half hour.

  1. Squats with punches at the top
  2. Star jumps
  3. Tricep dips
  4. Crunches
  5. Lunges (alternating legs)
  6. Sprints across the yard
  7. Bicep curls (use handweights, a barbell or 2 x 400g cans of tinned tomatoes or similar)
  8. Reverse crunches

Walk to cool down, then stretch/relax

Roll the Dice workout #2

You need: 2 dice, mat or towel (for crunches and plank/hover holds), a timer

Take turns rolling two dice. The sum of the dice determines which exercise you will do next. Workout at low intensity for the first five minutes to warm up. Continue for a half hour.

  1. 6 x burpees
  2. 30 seconds running on the spot or high knees
  3. 10 x pushups (knees or toes)
  4. 15 x Squats (as 10 full squats, 5 pulses)
  5. 15 Crunches
  6. 30 second plank/hover hold
  7. 30 seconds of punching in front (can use hand weights or a punching bag if you have them).
  8. 40 seconds of star jumps or step touches
  9. 30 seconds heels to butt kicks
  10. 30 second wall sit
  11. 40 second side plank (20 seconds each side)

Walk to cool down, then stretch/relax

Deck of Cards workout

You need: A deck of cards, mat or towel (for crunches and plank/hover holds), a timer

Turn over one card at a time and do the exercise associated with the suit. The number on the card is the number of repetitions you will do. Ace = 1. Jack, Queen and King = 10. Jokers = 10 burpees. Workout at low intensity for the first five minutes to warm up. Do 15 minutes of each round with a breather/drink break in between.

First round

Hearts: Calf raises
Spades: Front kicks
Diamonds: Push ups (knees or toes)
Clubs: Supermans

Second round

Hearts: Sumo (wide-legged) squats
Spades: Star jumps or step touches
Diamonds: Bicep curls (use handweights, a barbell or 2 x 400g cans of tinned tomatoes or similar)
Clubs: Reverse crunches

Walk to cool down, then stretch/relax

30/30/60 Workout

You need: A mat or towel (for crunches and plank/hover holds), a timer

Workout at low intensity for the first five minutes to warm up. When you get to the end have a breather/drink break and repeat 1-2 more times.

  • 30 seconds of squats
  • 30 seconds of tricep dips
  • 60 seconds of supermans
  • 30 seconds of lunges (alternating legs)
  • 30 seconds of bicep curls (use handweights, a barbell or 2 x 400g cans of tinned tomatoes or similar)
  • 60 seconds of crunches
  • 30 seconds of sumo (wide-legged) squats (as 10 full squats, 5 pulses)
  • 30 seconds of sprints across the yard
  • 30 seconds of pushups
  • 60 seconds plank/hover hold
  • 30 seconds calf raises
  • 30 seconds punching up high
  • 60 seconds star jumps or step touches
  • 30 seconds power knees
  • 30 seconds arm circles
  • 60 seconds side planks (30 seconds each side)

Walk to cool down, then stretch/relax

Alphabet Workout

You need: A mat or towel (for crunches and plank/hover holds), a timer

Start by spelling your names (perform exercise associated with each letter), then spell Streets/Countries/Names of pets etc (whatever you can think of – homeschooling and exercise combined – win!) Continue for 30 minutes. Workout at low intensity for the first five minutes to warm up.

A. 10 squats
B. 10 star jumps or step touches
C. 30 second plank/hover hold
D. Arm circles (10 to the front, 10 to the back)
E. 30 seconds run on the spot
F. 15 calf raises
G. 12 lunges (alternating legs)
H. 30 seconds heels to butt
I. Side plank (20 seconds each side)
J. 12 tricep dips
K. 10 pushups (on knees or toes)
L. 30 seconds uppercut punches
M. 10 reverse crunches
N. 10 crunch pulses
O. 30 seconds high punches
P. 10 crunches
Q. 4 laps across the backyard
R. 15 bicep curls (use handweights, a barbell or 2 x 400g cans of tinned tomatoes or similar)
S. 30 seconds skipping (with or without a skipping rope)
T. 20 seconds punching in front
U. 10 squats with a punch in front at the top
V. 10 sumo (wide-legged) squats
W. 20 seconds punching up high
X. 20 seconds high knee running on spot
Y. 10 alternating side lunges
Z. 10 power knees (5 each side)

Partner Circuit

You need: A partner, a mat or towel (for crunches and plank/hover holds), a timer

Partner 1 does the first exercise, while partner 2 does the second. Do each exercise for 1 minute and then swap exercises. Perform each round 4 times (2 x each exercise). Rest for a minute in between each round. Perform the first round at low intensity to warm up.

Round 1

Partner 1: Crunches
Partner 2: Sprints across the yard

Round 2

Partner 1: Sumo (wide-legged) squats
Partner 2: Uppercut punches

Round 3

Partner 1: Calf raises
Partner 2: Arm circles

Round 4

Partner 1: Lunges (alternating legs)
Partner 2: Plank/Hover hold

Round 5

Partner 1: Wall sit
Partner 2: Punches in front

Round 6

Partner 1: Side plank (30 seconds each side)
Partner 2: Front kicks

Walk to cool down, then stretch/relax

Would You Rather? workout or Flip a Coin workout

You need: A mat or towel (for crunches and plank/hover holds), a timer

This one is simple. You complete 6 exercises for 45 seconds each with a 15 second rest in between each, but you get to choose from either List A (Heads) or List B (Tails). If you prefer, you can flip a coin to determine which exercise you’ll do. When you get to the end, have a breather/drink break and then repeat 4-5 times. Perform the first round at low intensity to warm up.

List A (Heads)

  • Skipping (with or without rope)
  • Tricep dips
  • Crunches
  • Kicks to the front
  • Squats
  • Wall sit

List B (Tails)

  • Running across the yard
  • Pushups (knees or toes)
  • Plank / hover hold
  • Running on the spot (heels to butt)
  • Lunges
  • Calf raises

Walk to cool down, then stretch/relax

Want to increase the intensity?

Add a medicine ball press to your squats and calf raises, change your squats to jump squats, add a skipping rope to your high knees, do your pushups on your toes or add a clap in between each rep, do the punches in front in a sumo squat position

Disclaimer: Always consult an appropriate health professional before implementing a new exercise regime.


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