Cincinnati Family Magazine

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July 15, 2024

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

About the Author

Amanda Hayward

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