Kids Exercise List for the Classroom or Home (2023)

Kids Exercise List for the Classroom or Home (1)

We all know how important exercise is for children! Research tells us that daily physical exercises can help children develop healthy bodies and minds. This list of exercises for kids below can help you get started.

Screen time and video games are fun but kids need to be encouraged to participate in regular exercise.

If you are looking for physical activity ideas for children at school or at home, then this kids exercise list (NO EQUIPMENT NEEDED) for the classroom or home should come in handy. Of course, we can’t list every single exercise but these ideas will give you a good starting point for preschoolers, elementary students and older!


To make sure the kids reach the recommended levels of activity from the CDC, try to clock 60 minutes or more of moderate-to-vigorous intensity exercise each day. This should include aerobic activity, muscle strengthening and bone strengthening.

For aerobic activity, most of the day’s 60 minutes should include things like walking, jogging, riding bikes, or other activities that make their hearts race faster. Vigorous-intensity exercises should be done at least 3 days a week on average.

At least three days a week, the kids should strive to participate in physical activities like climbing or push-ups for strength training to help build stronger muscles.

At least three days per week, encourage physical activities like jumping or running for strong bones.

It can be hard to pick the best exercises for kids and you should always consult with a physician or Physical Therapist before starting any new exercise routine.

Kids Exercise List for the Classroom or Home (2)

Exercise Posters for Kids – Printed

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When it comes to getting our kids moving, we often think of gym class or sports. But there are a lot of ways to get kids active that don’t involve a lot of planning or expense. In fact, many of these exercises can be done right in the classroom or at home. So whether you’re looking for ideas to add some variety to your kid’s day, or you’re stuck inside due to bad weather, here are some fun and easy exercises for kids.

The kids’ exercise list that follows includes 5 different types of exercise to help children develop healthy bodies and minds.

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The following 6 exercises are the perfect morning exercises for students to get them to wake up and be ready to learn.

Jumping Jacks

This classic cardio exercise is a great way to get the heart pumping, get body moving and to build endurance. It’s also a great brain booster, as it gets the blood flowing to the head.

To do jumping jacks, stand with feet together and arms at your sides. Jump up, spreading your legs to shoulder width and bringing your arms up over your head. Return to the starting position and repeat.

Run in Place Workout

This is another great aerobic exercise that gets the heart pumping and the body moving. It’s also a great way to get some energy out before learning.

To do this exercise, simply stand in place and run in place, lifting your knees high and swinging your arms.

Head to Toe Jumping Exercise

This is a great full-body exercise that gets kids moving head to toe. Stand up tall. Use both hands, moving down your body and touch your head, shoulders, knees and toes.

From the squat position, pop up and jump up with your arms overhead.

Cross Crawls

Cross crawls are an excellent coordination exercise! It combines upper body exercise with lower body exercises.

Stand up straight with arms at shoulder height. Lift your left leg, bring your right hand across and touch your left knee.

Put your leg down and lift your arm back up. Now lift your right leg, bring your left hand across and touch your right knee. Put your leg down and lift your arm back up.

Read more details about the benefits of thecross crawl exercise.

Spin Jumps

Put your hands on your hips. Jump up and turn to the right.

Jump back to face front. Jump up and turn to the left. Jump back to face front.

Heel Touches

This exercises has the kids touching their heels. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and arms straight out to side at shoulder height.

Bend your right knee lifting your foot up behind you. Bring your left hand down to touch your right heel. Put your foot down and arms back up to shoulder height.

Repeat on other side – right hand to touch left heel.

Kids Exercise List for the Classroom or Home (3)

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If children need to increase their overall body strength and especially their core muscles, these exercises require no equipment and can tone up the muscles.

Chair yoga pose

Raise your arms overhead, palms facing each other. Breathe out, bend knees and lower your body like you are sitting in a chair.

Try to hold the chair pose position and take deep breaths.

Find more information onChair Yoga.

Boat yoga pose

Roll your shoulders back and lift the chest up toward the sky. Slowly lift your feet up off the floor with knees straight and balance on your bottom.

Put arms out next to your knees. Take deep breaths and hold the pose.

Reverse Table yoga pose

With your belly facing up, bend your knees, put your feet on the floor and put your hands on the floor. Lift your hips up towards the ceiling.

Try to make your chest and legs parallel to the floor. Relax your neck so it is straight with the rest of your spine.

Breath and hold the position.

Kids Exercise List for the Classroom or Home (4)

Superman yoga pose

This is a great core stability exercise. Start on your belly, breathe in and lift your head, chest, arms and legs off the floor. Keep the arms and legs as straight as possible. Hold this position taking deep breaths in and out.

Plank or Push-Ups

Start on your belly on the floor. Breathe in and push up putting your shoulders over wrists, elbows straight, back at and legs straight back. Breath in and out. Try to hold the plank position.

To move into a push up, bend your elbows, keep your back straight and lower your body close to the floor. Push back up into a plank position.

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Stand up with feet shoulder width apart, arms out to side, palms facing forward and fingers spread apart. Pull your belly in tight, stick your bottom out and slowly squat down. Stand back up.

Breath and do several squats holding your core muscles tight throughout.

Kids Exercise List for the Classroom or Home (5)

10 Minute Yoga for Kids in the Classroom

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Students need to stretch their muscles throughout the day. Sitting slumped in a classroom chair or hunched over a computer or phone can take a huge toll on a student’s body. Here are 6 exercises to stretch the upper back, lower back, shoulders, chest, and legs.

Moon yoga pose

Stand up tall. Breathe in, bring your arms overhead, with palms facing each other. Reach your fingertips towards the sky, stretching to the right.

Tilt your head back gently and focus eyes on your thumbs. Take several deep breaths.

Repeat the stretch on your left side.

Twist pose

Balance on your right leg, slowly lifting the left leg. Lift your arms up to shoulder height with elbows bent, palms facing forward.

Rotate your torso, bringing your right elbow forward, lining it up over the top of your left knee.

Breathe and hold the position for several seconds.

Repeat the pose on the opposite side.

Triangle yoga pose

Stand with your feet apart. Lift arms up with palms facing forward. Breathe out, reach with your right hand towards right foot and bend at right hip.

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Keep your arms apart. Breath and hold for 5-10 seconds.

Repeat on the left side.

Chest Stretch

Stand up and put your arms behind you and lace fingers together. Straighten your arms and gently lift your clasped hands up a few inches until you feel a stretch in your chest.

Gently look up without straining your neck. Breathe in and out as you hold this position.

Lunge Stretch

Stand up and put your right leg back. Bend your left knee, lunge forward slightly and keep your right leg straight. Keep your right heel on the floor.

Breathe in and out holding the position for several seconds.Repeat with your left leg back and right leg forward.

Kids Exercise List for the Classroom or Home (6)

Back Stretch

Breathe in, and bring your arms out to the side and up overhead, with palms facing each other. Reach your fingertips towards the sky.

Stand as tall as possible with your ears, shoulders, hips and ankles all in one line. Tilt the head back gently and focus your eyes on your thumbs.

Take deep breaths as you hold this position.


Provide parents and teachers with this kids exercise list to help children increase their daily physical activity, improve their muscle strength, increase their focus, improve their flexibility, and instill calmness in their everyday lives.

If you want posters of all these exercises check out the Exercise Posters for Kids – Printed AND Digital Version. It also includes FOCUS exercises and CALMING exercises. Perfect for school settings, physical education lessons, or fun exercises to do in the classroom!

Kids Exercise List for the Classroom or Home (7)

Exercise Posters for Kids – Printed

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Kids Exercise List for the Classroom or Home (8)

Read more about how a growing number of states are hoping to improve kids’ brains with exercise here.


What exercises should you get the students to do in the classroom? ›

  • Stand tall with your hands at your side.
  • Squat down to the floor (see squats).
  • Put your hands on the floor.
  • Jump to the plank position (see mountain climbers).
  • Jump your feet back to the squat position.
  • Star jump back up (see star jumps).

What is the best exercise for a 10 year old? ›

Most of the physical activity should be aerobic, where kids use large muscles and continue for a period of time. Examples of aerobic activity are running, swimming, and dancing. School-age kids usually have brief bouts of moderate to strong physical activity alternating with light activity or rest throughout the day.

How much exercise is enough for students? ›

Children and adolescents ages 6 through 17 need to be active for 60 minutes every day. This may sound like a lot, but don't worry! Children may already be meeting the recommended physical activity levels.

What are the 3 types of exercise? ›

The Three Types of Physical Activity
  • Aerobic or "cardio" activities. These make your heart beat faster and make you breathe harder, such as brisk walking, riding a bike, or running. ...
  • Strength training activities. These make your muscles work against, or "resist," something. ...
  • Stretches.

What are examples of physical activities in school? ›

For school-aged kids, physical activities are (and should be) fun, but they're also important.
Youth Sports
  • Basketball.
  • Cheerleading.
  • Flag football.
  • Hockey (ice, floor, or field)
  • Lacrosse.
  • Soccer (indoor/outdoor)
  • T-ball, baseball, or softball.
  • Volleyball.
3 May 2021

What are 10 easy exercises? ›

Keep the fuss to a minimum and stick with the basics.
  • Lunges. Challenging your balance is an essential part of a well-rounded exercise routine. ...
  • Pushups. Drop and give me 20! ...
  • Squats. ...
  • Standing overhead dumbbell presses. ...
  • Dumbbell rows. ...
  • Single-leg deadlifts. ...
  • Burpees. ...
  • Side planks.

What are the 10 best exercises for kids? ›

  • Running. BSIP-IUG / Getty Images. ...
  • Jumping. MamiEva / Getty Images. ...
  • Exercise Games. John Giustina / Getty Images. ...
  • Indoor Ball Games. Nitat Termmee / Getty Images. ...
  • Skipping. Mixetto / Getty Images. ...
  • Crab Walk. Charles Gullung / Getty Images. ...
  • Bear Crawl. BraunS / Getty Images. ...
  • Squats and Lunges. Hero Images / Getty Images.
22 Mar 2021

Why is exercise important for kids? ›

Regular physical activity can help children and adolescents improve cardiorespiratory fitness, build strong bones and muscles, control weight, reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, and reduce the risk of developing health conditions such as: Heart disease.

Are kids getting enough exercise at school? ›

Three out of every four teens aren't getting enough exercise. The problem is even greater among female students. But new research from the University of Georgia suggests improving a school's climate can increase physical activity among adolescents.

What counts as enough exercise? ›

Each week adults need 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity and 2 days of muscle strengthening activity, according to the current Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. We know 150 minutes of physical activity each week sounds like a lot, but you don't have to do it all at once.

What are the 7 workouts? ›

Exercises in the 7 minute workout
  • Jumping jacks (30 seconds)
  • Wall sit (30 seconds)
  • Pushups (30 seconds)
  • Crunches (30 seconds)
  • Step-up onto chair, alternating legs (30 seconds)
  • Squats (30 seconds)
  • Triceps dips, using a chair or bench (30 seconds)
  • Forearm plank (30 seconds)
26 May 2022

What are the 2 basic types of exercise? ›

What are the different types of exercise?
  • Aerobic exercise is exercise that uses oxygen and raises your heart rate significantly, so that you are consistently improving your heart muscle, and burning calories effectively.
  • Anaerobic exercise is high intensity exercise usually performed for less than two minutes.

What are the 10 physical activities? ›

These include:
  • Walking.
  • Dancing.
  • Swimming.
  • Water aerobics.
  • Jogging and running.
  • Aerobic exercise classes.
  • Bicycle riding (stationary or on a path)
  • Some gardening activities, such as raking and pushing a lawn mower.

What are some PE activities for kids? ›

15 Physical Activities for Preschool Kids
  • Tag. Playing tag is a great way for kids to get physical activity throughout the day. ...
  • Duck, Duck, Goose. Duck, duck, goose is another classic children's game many toddlers love. ...
  • Musical Chairs. ...
  • Red Light, Green Light. ...
  • Freeze Dance. ...
  • Hopscotch. ...
  • Hit the Balloon. ...
  • Toss and Catch.

What are examples of activities? ›

Some examples of physical activities include the following:
  • Working Out.
  • Practicing for a Sport.
  • Playing a Sport.
  • Swimming Laps.
  • Yoga Class.
  • Running.
  • Pilates.
  • Home Renovations.

What home items can I use for exercise? ›

Join Bicycling now for more great workout tips!
  • Use a hand towel as a slider. ...
  • Use laundry detergent as a kettlebell. ...
  • Use a folding chair as a bench for triceps dips. ...
  • Use a backpack as a weighted vest. ...
  • Use a couch cushion as a BOSU. ...
  • Use a bike pump for triceps strength. ...
  • Use rope as a suspension trainer.
10 Mar 2021

What are 3 Easy exercises? ›

7 simple exercises you can do at home
  • Squats for your legs, stomach, and lower back.
  • Lunges for your upper legs and glutes.
  • Planks for your core, back, and shoulders.
  • Push-ups for your chest, shoulders, triceps, and core.
  • Pull-ups for your biceps, triceps, forearms, wrists, shoulders, and core.
14 Jan 2021

What is the 21 exercise? ›

Most often applied to biceps curls, 21s combine full and partial reps in the same long (you guessed it) 21-rep set, which is typically split into three parts and performed without pausing to rest: The first 7 reps focus on the bottom of the movement, stopping when the elbow is bent 90 degrees.

What is the most common exercise? ›

Walking is Most Popular Exercise Activity.

What exercise can kids do at home? ›

Goals could range from taking a walk every day, to increasing the number of jumping jacks or squats they can do, to how long they can hold a plank to even training for a 5k. You can find a variety of workout challenges online for different age and fitness levels.

What is the best exercise for kids at home? ›

Aerobic activities, such as walking, jogging, running, rope skipping, are whole-body cardio exercises that improve heart and muscle strength. Whereas planks, push-ups, forward lunges, and other strength training exercises help strengthen core muscles and improve posture.

What exercise can a kid do? ›

Some fun exercises for kids include running, jumping, skipping, and bear crawls. Kids should also do muscle-building exercises like supermans, squats, and crab walks.

What are 7 benefits of exercise? ›

  • Exercise controls weight. Exercise can help prevent excess weight gain or help maintain weight loss. ...
  • Exercise combats health conditions and diseases. ...
  • Exercise improves mood. ...
  • Exercise boosts energy. ...
  • Exercise promotes better sleep. ...
  • Exercise puts the spark back into your sex life. ...
  • Exercise can be fun … and social!

What are the 5 most important benefits of exercise? ›

Being physically active can improve your brain health, help manage weight, reduce the risk of disease, strengthen bones and muscles, and improve your ability to do everyday activities.

Why is exercise important 5 Reasons? ›

Exercising regularly decreases a person's risk of developing diseases like obesity, type 2 diabetes, and high blood pressure. Exercise also can help keep your body at a healthy weight. Exercise helps a person age well. Regular physical activity can help in improving muscle strength and boost your endurance.

How much exercise do kids get a day? ›

Physical Activity Recommendations

Children need at least 60 minutes of physical activity each day. The activity should be age-appropriate and fun, and kids don't need to fit it all in at once: They can add up physical activity throughout the day, in short bursts of 10 minutes or longer.

Do kids have to exercise? ›

Laskowski, M.D. Guidelines from the Department of Health and Human Services recommend that children and adolescents age 6 and older get at least an hour a day of moderate or vigorous aerobic activity. Children should do vigorous activities, such as running or biking, at least three days a week.

How do you stay active in the classroom? ›

Gamification: This is the best way to keep the kids active in the classroom and gain their interest for learning. Try some engaging classroom games that help to learn the subjects in an interesting way. Include a variety of games in different classes to satisfy the interests of all student groups.

Is walking enough exercise? ›

The short answer is yes. “Walking is just as good as any other form of exercise,” says University Hospitals pediatric sports medicine specialist Laura Goldberg, MD. “The guidelines are 150 minutes of moderate activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity a week.

Is my work enough exercise? ›

"If you are exercising three to four times a week, and hitting your target heart rate for at least 30 minutes, you are most likely working out enough — even if it doesn't feel like it. It's better to work smarter not harder."

Is a few minutes of exercise enough? ›

Short, 10-minute workouts are better than not exercising at all and can benefit your health, fitness, and mood. These micro workouts can help you establish an exercise routine, which is especially helpful if you're not currently active.

What are the 4 main exercises? ›

Strengthening, stretching, balance, and aerobic exercises will keep you active, mobile, and feeling great.
  • Aerobic exercise. Aerobic exercise, which speeds up your heart rate and breathing, is important for many body functions. ...
  • Strength training. As we age, we lose muscle mass.

What are 6 ways exercise? ›

The dumbbell 6 ways exercise is a combination movement that combines a dumbbell lateral raise, dumbbell internal rotation, dumbbell overhead front raise, and dumbbell external rotation. The movement is considered to be an intermediate exercise and puts the shoulder under a significant time under tension duration.

What exercises everyday? ›

Walking. Any exercise program should include cardiovascular exercise, which strengthens the heart and burns calories. And walking is something you can do anywhere, anytime, with no equipment other than a good pair of shoes. It's not just for beginners, either: Even the very fit can get a good workout from walking.

What is the best 7 day workout? ›

  • Day 1 – Push (Quad, Chest, Triceps)
  • Day 2 – Pull (Hamstrings, Glutes, Back, Biceps)
  • Day 3 – Push (Shoulders, Chest, Triceps)
  • Day 4 – Pull (Hamstrings, Glutes, Back, Biceps)
  • Day 5 – Push (Quad, Chest, Abs)
  • Day 6 – Pull (Hamstrings, Glutes, Back)
  • Day 7 – Bonus Day (Biceps, Triceps, Abs, Shoulders)

What are proper exercise examples? ›

Examples include brisk walking, jogging, swimming, and biking. Strength, or resistance training, exercises make your muscles stronger. Some examples are lifting weights and using a resistance band. Balance exercises can make it easier to walk on uneven surfaces and help prevent falls.

What is light exercise? ›

Examples of light physical activity include walking slowly, playing pool (billiards), croquet, fishing, and light housework such as cooking, dusting, ironing, folding laundry, washing dishes, and putting away groceries.

Is it OK for a 10 year old to workout? ›

You bet! Done properly, it offers many benefits to young athletes. Strength training is even a good idea for kids who simply want to look and feel better. In fact, this form of exercise might put your child on a lifetime path to better health and fitness.

How long should a 10 year old exercise? ›

Guidelines from the Department of Health and Human Services recommend that children and adolescents age 6 and older get at least an hour a day of moderate or vigorous aerobic activity. Children should do vigorous activities, such as running or biking, at least three days a week.

How much should a 10 year old workout? ›

Children need at least 60 minutes of physical activity each day. The activity should be age-appropriate and fun, and kids don't need to fit it all in at once: They can add up physical activity throughout the day, in short bursts of 10 minutes or longer.

Should a 10 year old be working out? ›

Kids and teens should get at least 1 hour a day of moderate to vigorous physical activity every day, including aerobic (cardio) activity, like running, biking, and playing outside. Also, be sure you child drinks plenty of liquids and eats a healthy diet for better performance and recovery.

Can kids gym? ›

However, children as young as 7 or 8 years old can benefit from exercising in a structured setting—as long as they're not being forced to work out for weight loss or body image improvement, says Dr. Mark Mandel, MD, a pediatrician based in Montvale, New Jersey.

Should kids exercise? ›

Besides enjoying the health benefits of regular exercise, fit kids sleep better. Exercise improves school performance and makes kids less likely to develop depression. Kids who exercise regularly are also better able to handle physical and emotional challenges — from running to catch a bus to studying for a test.

How can I make my lazy child active? ›

Some suggestions:
  1. ​Talk with your child's doctor. Your child's doctor can help your child understand why physical activity is important. ...
  2. Emphasize fun. ...
  3. Choose an activity that is developmentally appropriate. ...
  4. Plan ahead. ...
  5. Provide a safe environment. ...
  6. Provide active toys. ...
  7. Be a role model. ...
  8. Play with your children.
30 Dec 2020

Why is exercise good for kids? ›

Regular physical activity can help children and adolescents improve cardiorespiratory fitness, build strong bones and muscles, control weight, reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, and reduce the risk of developing health conditions such as: Heart disease.

Can kids exercise too much? ›

It's important to pay close attention to signs that your child is getting too much exercise. If your child suddenly loses interest in an athletic activity he used to enjoy, he may be suffering from burnout. Other signs of too much exercise include: Fatigue or exhaustion (physical and/or emotional)

At what age can kids workout? ›

Young athletes can begin a strength training program around the same time they begin to play organized sports, as early as 7 or 8 years old if they express interest and are mature enough to follow directions. At this age or for any beginner, strength training is all about building a foundation, not just weight lifting.

How can kids stay healthy? ›

Include physical activity in your daily routine. Walk as a family before or after meals. Make playtime with your family fun. Be active by shooting hoops or playing tag.

Should I work out at 14? ›

Physical activity guidelines for teens recommend that they get 1 hour or more of moderate to strong physical activity daily. In addition: Most of the physical activity should be aerobic, where they use large muscles and continue for a period of time. Examples of aerobic activity are running, swimming, and dancing.

What age should you start dating? ›

As a general guideline, Dr. Eagar advises not allowing single dating before age sixteen. “There's an enormous difference between a fourteen- or fifteen-year- old and a sixteen- or seventeen-year-old in terms of life experience,” he says.

How can kids get stronger? ›

Strengthening exercise is movement that makes muscles and bones stronger. Activities that strengthen muscles make them work harder.
Fun ways to make muscles stronger
  1. Climbing and swinging on playground equipment.
  2. Climbing trees.
  3. Gymnastics.
  4. Push-ups with knees on the floor.
  5. Sit-ups.
  6. Skiing or snowboarding.
  7. Tug-of-war.

How much should a 12 year old lift? ›

Don't use heavy weights yet! Teens should start out with lighter weights, proper form, and more repetitions. A good rule of thumb is to start with a weight you can easily lift 10 times, with the last two repetitions being increasingly difficult. For some teens, this might be 1 pound to 2 pounds.


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