Easy exercises for young children

Try these activities at home with your preschool kids to help you feel good and get fit.

Easy exercises for young children

Don't worry, exercise doesn't come naturally to most people, according to a Harvard professor.

However, when we play, we're normally moving around. Yes, playtime is exercise and fun at the same time!

Exercise is also good for your mental health. It produces feel-good hormones, and can help to relieve stress.

Have fun with your preschool children doing these playtime activities.

Go the distance

  1. Find a smooth floor surface and use some masking tape. 
  2. Mark out lines about 30 centimetres apart. 
  3. Number each line, by writing on the masking tape or using post-it notes. If you are outside you could use chalk.
  4. Slide a plastic plate or roll a ball as far as they will go.  
  5. What number did you reach? Can you roll it further to reach the next number?
Go the distance
  • For older children, ask them to take 3 turns each, and then add up the numbers (maths skills).  
  • For younger children, see if they can get their object to slide or roll to a number (motor skills). 

Top tip: Adapt the activity. Use numbered containers to throw balls or soft toys into. Or balance balls on toilet roll tubes, and throw bean bags/soft toys to knock them off. 

Easy exercises for young children

Play the bean game

Match the bean to the action.

  1. Baked bean — curl into a ball
  2. Jelly bean — wobble like a jelly                   
  3. Runner bean — run on the spot                     
  4. Jumping bean — jump on the spot
  5. Broad bean — show your muscles
  6. String bean — stand very tall and straight

Test children's memories while they have lots of fun. You call out the bean, they do the action. Get a point for doing the right action.

Play the bean game

Have a family disco

  1. Put on your favourite music.
  2. Dim the lights.
  3. Have a dance as a family.

Give your small muscles a workout by adding some play dough and have a dough disco — stretch it, pinch it and roll it in time to the music.

Have a family disco

What animal am I?

Practise walking like different animals. 

Can other members of the family guess what you are? "Are you a donkey?" "No!"

Bonus points game: Have a race to find objects that start with letters in your name.

What animal am I?

Outdoor games

Daily walks or scoots are great for burning off energy. They'll be so tired, they might even go to bed on time (which means more me-time for you).

Getting some sun will help with their sleep patterns too. Try these ideas to get them moving:

  • Bubble catching
  • Ball games (rolling, kicking and catching)
  • Sound walking (what sounds can you hear?)
  • Puddle jumping
  • Stick collecting (ordering from small to big)
  • Den building
  • Nature scavenger hunting
Outdoor games

What is my child learning?

Physical development: beginning to move freely with pleasure and confidence. Experimenting with different movements. 

Communication and language development: understanding and following simple instructions.

Personal, social and emotional development: responding to what others are doing through play.

Maths: beginning to recognise numbers through play.

What is my child learning?

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