Cincinnati Family Magazine

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September 18, 2021

Mom Report: Active Fun With Kids!

We plugged in some kid-friendly exercises into our homeschool routine today! The kids had a blast!

Making movement fun is key to catching your kids’ interest. I found that making it a game or challenge with a reward immediately grabbed my kids’ attention! But first, I needed some kid-friendly exercise ideas.

We came across host of “American Ninja Warrior Junior,” Akbar Gbajabiamilas, exercises for kids. He is a former athlete and father of four. Gbajabiamilas uses these moves with his own kids and helps create an effective family workout session that doesn’t involve any equipment:

Dice Roll Body Weight Movements.

My 8 year old, Will, did this for his homeschool movement time. I assigned each movement to a number on the dice to make it more interesting! (Roll a 1, do jumping jacks; roll a 2, do pushups, etc! Do for three minutes): 

Roll a 1 – 30 second Jumping Jacks

Roll a 2: 30 second High knees 

Roll a 3: 30 second Butt kickers 

Roll a 4: 30 second Body Squats

Roll a 5: 30 second Jumping Jacks 

Roll a 6: 30 second Mountain climbers 

Plank Challenges

Next up, planks! The best way is to use a timer, suggests Gbajabiamilas. (We love using timers in our house, too!) We did one minute circuits with different planks together:

– High plank

– Forearm plank

– “Up-Downs” (go from high plank to forearm plank and alternate which arm you lead with).

Animal Walks.

This is fun and educational, so kids love it! We got Will’s 4-year-old sister, Eva, involved with this one! Integrate different animal movements into the exercises, suggest Gbajabiamilas. That way, it keeps them distracted and moving around. Two top favorites: 

– Crab walks

– Bear crawls 

Relay Races.

Wrap it up with an exciting relay race. Remember those “suicide drills” you did in high school? Now the whole family can get involved!

– One kid starts and runs to the end of the driveway, comes back, tags the next and so forth. Gbajabiamilas makes it a fun competition to see, as a team, how quickly they can complete the drill. We tried out this exhilarating competitions and the kids had a blast! 

Learn more about American Ninja Warrior Junior and find some fun educational games at universalkids.com/shows/american-ninja-warrior-junior.

About the Author

Amanda Hayward

Amanda Hayward is editor of this publication. She is from Cincinnati, Ohio, a military wife and mom of three. If she's not writing for Cincinnati Family, you'll find her running, juggling kids, teaching group fitness classes and cooking up healthy recipes.