In my ongoing effort to never underestimate and, as often as possible, incorporate the simple, I’ve learned that exercise doesn’t have to involve a trip to the gym. Not having the time, money, or inclination to invest in a gym membership isn’t a valid excuse for doing nothing. (And y’all, I am saying this a reminder for me as much as it is for you!)

There are TONS of things to do!

Here’s a quick (and by no means exhaustive) list of fun activities that’ll allow you to get off the couch, burn those calories (especially if you have losing weight or getting in better shape this year as a goal) and enjoy some quality time with your kiddos – from tots to teens!

These activities are fun, family-friendly, and promote good health

1.  Go for a walk

The age of your child(ren) will, of course, determine the speed and distance of your walk, but the fresh air, sunshine, and movement will still “do a body good”!

2.  Ride bikes  

You can actually buy a bike with a big, cushy seat. Praise the Lord!

3.  Hula hoop 

You’d be surprised at how many calories you can burn while hooping. Bonus points: It’s also good for the soul…I’m pretty sure it’s impossible to hoop without laughing! (Go ahead, ask me how I know!)

4.  Dance

I have made use of this countless times in my own kitchen, much to the amusement of my kids… My best friend’s daughter is continually cracking us all up while reminding our over-thinking, analytical selves to “Stop thinking so hard. Just dance!”

5.  Play some water games 

Run through a sprinkler. Have a water gun or water balloon fight. Being chased with a loaded water gun or water-filled balloon can really put some pep in your step!

6.  Go swimming 

This one’s my favorite! Burning calories while having fun with the kids AND without breaking a sweat…yeah, that makes me happy. Whether it’s laps or Marco Polo or another game, it’s all good!

Additional resources and safety tips for swimming: 

* If you’re spending time in or near water, make sure to educate yourself about water safety first.
* What do the experts say on why all children should learn to swim?
* Check out this healthy living products list.

7.  Play backyard games

You remember them…chase, ring-around-the-rosie, monkey-in-the-middle, freeze tag, hide and go seek, and the list goes on… Your kids may get a kick – and are certain to get a laugh – out of learning some games you used to play as a kid ;-)!

8.  Build a backyard obstacle course 

It’s easier than you think and there’s lots of room for creativity. Start by cleaning out the garage or basement and put some of that stuff to fun use. We even did this for one of our daughter’s birthday parties one year – it was a huge hit!

9.   Jump rope 

This one’s self-explanatory, but I would add a word of caution to our older more mature readers: Go pee before you start jumping. (Don’t ask me how I know, but you can probably guess.)

10.  Play a game of ultimate frisbee 

This ain’t your grandma’s version of frisbee! Check out the rules and how to play the game here. Of course, you can always fudge the rules a bit to make it work for your crew – if you have younger kids, or less than the needed number of players – but you’ll still be working up a sweat.

Check out YouveGotThisMath for more summer learning ideas!
This post is part of the Summer Learning Ideas blog hop at
Check it out for even more summer learning ideas!

We’d love to hear your fun ideas for staying active with your kids. Feel free to share them in the comments section!

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