20 Outdoor and Indoor Family Fitness Ideas for Spring

20 outdoor and indoor family fitness ideas for spring

I’m so pleased to have my friend Caroline of Under God’s Mighty Hand here sharing a guest post about family fitness.  She’s got some fun outdoor and indoor ideas that I think you and your kids will enjoy.  – Kara

Winter offers its beauties, but by the time spring comes around, many of us are ready to burst out of doors and into glorious sunshine and green grass to stretch our formerly housebound legs.

Beyond the normal playground, tag, and bike activities, sometimes we need something new in our family fitness routines. Many of the ideas below are geared towards elementary ages (and parents) but can be modified to include younger and older ages. Most of these ideas use household objects or just yourselves and space.

Spring blossom image 575

10 Family Fitness Ideas for Outdoors

1. Take a listening walk. If you haven’t read The Listening Walk by Paul Showers (HarperCollins, 1993), check out a copy and take a family walk, listening, observing, and learning from the world around you.


2. Try geocaching. Geocaching utilizes a GPS device and free “treasures” planted by other participants. Visit the main geocaching website to search for local coordinates and how-tos. Your family can incorporate math skills (learning how to follow coordinates) and get moving, too.
3. Train for a 5k together. Walking or running a 5k (3.1 miles) is a very doable and fun challenge for a family to complete together. Youngest kids can participate in a stroller, and kids around age 7 and up can run/walk. Check out this post for other resources, links to running plans, and tips and here for a family fitness goal setting sheet.
4. Plan a park-hop. You might visit just one or two parks a majority of the time. If you live in an area with multiple parks and playgrounds, pick one day a week to visit a new park. Complete a family tour over the course of the season.
5. Outdoor scavenger hunt. Jot down a list of items for your kids to find on a nature walk or objects you’ve hidden in the yard. For young kids, give a visual representation of spring-related items to look for, like these Spring I Spy cards from Spell Outloud.
6. Outdoor puzzle race. Take several household objects, trace their outlines on poster or cardboard, and then scatter those objects throughout your yard. Either let your kids run to find the pieces as quick as possible, or switch up the movements every 30-60 seconds to skip, hop, crab walk, leap, and more. (See the full directions for this game here.) Match the objects to their outlines.
7. Plant an experimental play garden. If you have yard space, allow the kids to have a small plot to garden on their own. Digging, hoeing, and planting all work multiple muscle groups, and your kids experiment growing different vegetables and flowers.
8. Clean up the sidewalks or neighbors’ yards. As a family, pick up litter or help a neighbor complete yard work. You’ll get exercise and serve others at the same time.
9. Hill race. Find a big hill nearby. Climb up it, and race down forwards, sideways, or crawling! Repeat with giggles.
10. Dance in the rain. On a warm day with a refreshing rain, outfit your kids in their rain gear and go outside and dance in the rain. You’ll surprise your kids and get exercise, too.

indoor tunnel games image

So we have a list of great outdoor activities for spring. What about those rainy days? Or for those folks still (still!) experiencing winter weather?

To that, I offer you:

10 Indoor Family Fitness Ideas

1. Alphabet Activity game – Our family loves to combine reading with activity, so I created this “Alphabet Activity” game to accompany picture books, excerpts, or read alouds. This post explains the activity with a Christmas-themed book, but you’ll find a free printable with activity ideas suitable for any book or season. You can also try these Alphabet Movement cards from Chasing Cherrios.
2. “Move Like You Feel” Emotions Game – Younger kids love to act stories and ideas out. We recently made up this simple gross motor game to help my kids understand and express more emotions. (This activity can help kids with special needs expand emotion vocabulary, too.)
3. “Move and Groove” alphabet gameI love this gross motor movement game from No Time for Flash Cards. You can modify the game to test math equations, science facts, and more for older kids.
4. Indoor Tunnel Games – Do you have an indoor play tunnel? Try these basic games and movements with a little structure (and it’s way too fun not to join in!)
5. Tape Jumping – I’ve seen multiple variations of this activity, and its simplicity wins. Grab some painter’s tape and floor space, and you can create a simple challenge kids love by taping out various lines for kids to jump to, over, and on.
6. Indoor Obstacle Course – Offer your kids 5-10 household objects to jump on, step over, and crawl under (pillows, chairs, etc.), and ask them to create an obstacle course. Older kids can help younger kids, or each family member can create a portion of the course. Test the course out, tweak it, and repeat!
7. Dance Party – This is one of our favorites. Whether someone is grumpy (including Mom or Dad!) or everyone just needs to use up energy, turn on some upbeat music and dance!
8. Sight Word Jump and Grab – Another simple learning activity that includes movement from Hands On: As We Grow. You can modify this for older kids by changing the height of the paper and by using math facts, memory work, and more.
9. Exercise Pile-Up – Family members of all ages can play this game. Take turns naming and demonstrating an exercise or movement (real or made up!). With each new movement, all participants have to repeat the previous movements in order. For example: If Mom says “jumping jacks,” everyone does 5 jumping jacks. If Sister then “wiggle dances,” everyone does 5 jumping jacks, then 5 seconds of wiggle dancing, and so on.
10. Spring Animal Hop – In some open space in a room or hall, have your kids think of different animals they see in the spring, then move around the room like that animal for 60 seconds each (hop like a rabbit, flap like a bird, crawl like a caterpillar).

If none of those activities interest your family one day, and you just need to fit some exercise in, you could always grab one of your (younger) kids and do some kid bicep curls, like this video below.

What are your family’s favorite fitness activities?

2to1headshots-4 - Version 2Caroline is a wife, mom to two undeserved gifts, homeschooling momma, avid reader, certified personal trainer, former teacher, and decaf coffee drinker. Caroline blogs about family, faith, books, and special needs at Under God’s Mighty Hand. Also check out her quarterly newsletter, The Family Notepad, filled with resources and freebies for families. She loves Twitter and Pinterest, and follow her on Instagram for kidlit and adult book recommendations.

About Kara

Kara Fleck is the editor of Simple Kids. She is a small town mama, writer, knitter, bookworm, and hooligan. Kara lives in Indiana with her husband Christopher and their four children Jillian, Max, Lucy, and Amelia. You can find more of her writing at KElizabethFleck.com.

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Comments

  1. What a fabulous list of ideas, Caroline! Pinning this for sure! Thanks. 🙂
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  2. Thanks SO much for having me, Kara! Glad to be able to serve the Simple Kids community in this way.
    Caroline´s latest post: Understanding Nutrition Advertising + a Project Idea

  3. Racking your brains on ways to get the kids faraway from those great tv or maybe Dsi, yet are not aware of precisely how? Why don’t you encourage them outdoors having a completely new trampoline! Trampolines for children tend to be an effective way to incorporate conditioning along with entertaining on their play time period.
    Jon Watney´s latest post: JumpSport Fitness Trampoline Model 250 Review

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  5. Thanks for the great suggestions! Training for 5k together is something that I’ve not considered with my 2 young ones.

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  1. […] me over at Simple Kids today for 20 outdoor and indoor family fitness ideas for spring. You’ll find ideas and resources for activities that use around-the-house equipment and some […]