8 Fitness Games and Fun Physical Activities for Kids

The products in this story are independently selected and presented editorially. If you make a purchase using these links, we may earn a commission.

As parents and schools wrestle over whether to keep children at home amid the escalating COVID-19 omicron variable, the biggest concern for many is how it will affect other aspects of children’s health. A new study shows that early in the pandemic, many teens and teens stopped doing a lot of physical activity, and when they did, their mental health suffered, too. That’s why, in the midst of another coronavirus-plagued winter, this is the time to look for new ways to move these kids, and make sure they have fun while doing it.

Between the ages of 6 and 17, children should get at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity daily, according to the US Department of Health and Human Services. And while it’s easy to keep young children active, with their natural wobbly and wobbly ways, older kids and teens are another story. While many have often relied on physical education programs and organized sports to motivate their children, as parents and caregivers, you can do your part, too. First, you can practice along with healthy behavior modeling. But when you’re busy, and/or your kids don’t really want to show up with you in public, let alone go on a family trip, there are other ways. If you have an avid player, you may be able to convince them that they love playing sports.

Even before the pandemic, tech companies and game designers were thinking about how to get kids and adults to exercise with fitness trackers, virtual reality, and entertainment apps. Here are some of the best and funniest ways to get tweens and teens to enjoy the body — and they might not even have to look away from the screen to do so.

When you can’t make it to a soccer field and can’t make it to your cavernous indoor gym, you can still dribble and shoot (although not with powerful kicks across the field) with these hovering discs. Foam insert makes it suitable for use around furniture and barefoot. LED lighting makes this feel like a real life video game icon.

Buy it! Let’s Soccer Loose Hover Moose Ball LED Light (Set of 2); $29.99 amazon.com

This longtime favorite of competitive family members and aspiring dancers alike is guaranteed to work hard and eventually get everyone rolling on the floor in laughter. Follow the moves that are tuned to the latest songs and tap your mark to earn points. It’s easy to play with a Nintendo Switch Joy Con, but if you don’t have one at home, it’s also available as an app to use with your PC, AppleTV, and other streaming devices paired with your phone.

Buy it! Just Dance 2022 nintendo switch digital code; $49.99 amazon.com

Garmin Vivofit Junior 3 Kids Smart Watch

If your child is in the age group of 4-9 years and needs a little motivation to get off the couch, this fitness tracker watch can inspire him. In addition to measuring steps the way large trackers do, Vivofit Jr. 3 children complete 60 minutes of daily activity in order to unlock games, quizzes, and other rewards. Parents can monitor their children’s activity from an app on their phone, and the whole family can participate in fitness challenges together. Friends or siblings who own Garmin watches can also call (with your permission) to each other.

This smartwatch is relatively inexpensive for all the features it offers, making it a good choice for teens looking to be more active. Venu Sq can monitor heart rate, sleep, stress, blood oxygen levels, hydration and breathing. Preloaded with workouts, running coach, mindful breathing exercises, and sports tracking apps. Teens will also love that it connects directly to Spotify, Amazon Music or Deezer so they can play their favorite music without the need for a nearby phone.

Buy it! Garmin Venu Sq Music Edition, $199.99 (Original $249.99); Garmin.com

Instead of keeping your child away from their role-playing games on the Nintendo Switch, you can introduce exercises into their playing habit. A ring fit for adventure. Players connect a Joy-Con to the electronic ring and the other to a belt that goes around one of the thighs, then navigate various ways (running in place, sitting, pressing the ring against the abs, and more) to advance their character through a beautifully designed world where they have to battle a muscular dragon Extremely. There’s also a fitness-focused Quick Play mode for extra-adventure workouts.

Buy it! A ring fit for adventure, $51.65 – $69.99; amazon.com

If your older son is interested in trying yoga, strength training, Barre, and/or HIIT classes, membership in an on-demand fitness app like Alo Moves is an easy, cost-effective (not to mention pandemic-safe) way to achieve that. A subscription gives access to thousands of chapters of varying lengths and levels, all filmed in beautiful studio locations. Moreover, if you want to join the workouts as well, you will get a good deal compared to the in-person classes.

Buy it! Alo Moves Membership, $20 per month or $99 per year; alomoves.com

While this isn’t the most budget-friendly option, it’s probably the furthest you can get from a boring gym class. With a VR headset like the Oculus Quest 2, you or your child can escape your surroundings, step into whole new worlds, and use your body in new ways. With the popular Beat Saber, for example, the player moves through a tilted sci-fi scene using a lightsaber in floating boxes as they move to the beat of folk songs. According to the Virtual Reality Institute for Health and Exercise (a real thing), playing the game is equivalent to playing tennis and burns about six to eight calories per minute.

On the other end of the technology spectrum, here’s a screen-free and inexpensive way for kids and adults to play exercise at home: jump rope. If you haven’t experienced this since your childhood, you may not remember just how fast your heart rate rises during your coordination test. This speed rope can be adjusted to fit a variety of heights, and its ball bearings make it spin smoothly and quickly. Ask your child to try it for a few minutes a day and challenge him to see if he can increase his stamina, little by little, before learning new skills and tricks.

Buy it! Degol Skipping Rope with Balls, $8.54 with coupon (original $8.99); amazon.com


Leave a Comment