Physical Games to Burn Off Your Kiddos Energy

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A toddler boy and father with carton swords playing indoors at home, fighting.

Kids are active. You know what we’re talking about. When kids have pent up energy, often misbehavior and bad choices follow closely. 

As active as kids may seem, the CDC states that “less than one-quarter (24%) of children 6 to 17 years of age participate in 60 minutes of physical activity every day… Regular physical activity can improve cardiorespiratory fitness, build strong bones and muscles, control weight, reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, and reduce the risk of developing a variety of health conditions.” 

 Fun physical games and activities are a fantastic way to get your kids moving and burning their energy without them always being aware that they are active and healthy. Not all games are suitable for every age group. We have broken the list down into age-appropriate games that will keep your kiddos moving all day long. 

When the weather gets cold, parents look for ideas to burn off energy. Check out some other fun indoor snow day activities.

Twin City Kids Club is here to give you a list of games and activities that will help you get your kiddos active and moving to burn off their energy. For discounts and events, as well as parenting advice and support, join Twin Cities Kids Club today. 

Let us know the games and activities that you play with your kids to stay active and healthy! 

happy friends having fun together

Games for Ages 2-4

Find fun physical games and activities for this age group that is more unstructured. The kids have much shorter attention spans and are not quite ready for games with too many rules. Kids aged 2-4 love activities that are more play-based and are more likely to partake in the game when there is parent involvement.

  • Jumping Jacks

Jumping jacks are an easy way to get the blood flowing, and they require quite a bit of effort because you use your whole body to do them. Jumping jacks are easily incorporated in a game of “Simon Says” for older kiddos. They can also be done to the beat of a song if your kid loves a particular playlist. 

  • Balloon Bounce

Toddlers go crazy for this game. Inflate balloons and instruct the kids to keep the balloons from touching the ground. Keep in mind that this can be a game that can get a little rowdy. 

Variations for older kids:  Older kids can play a version of balloon bounce by assigning someone as the judge, and kids are “out” if one of the balloons touches the floor or the carpet. The last kid standing would be declared the winner. 

Best team. Charming blonde keeping smile on her face and communicating with her friends

  • Balance Beam 

A balance beam is only a roll of masking tape away! Once you have the line on the ground, you will ask your kiddos to walk from one end to the other end. If using masking tape, there are many different designs you can create to help your kiddos with hand-eye coordination. 

You can use the tape to create zig zags, different angles, spirals, or even zigzags. 

Variations for older kids: you can see who can make it from one end of the tape to the other end the fastest. Or walk the balance beam blindfolded without or with eyes closed. For older kids, you can also take a wooden 2×4 and use it as a balance beam.

  • Dancing 

This game is pretty self-explanatory. Tell your kids that you are going to have a dance party and then turn up the music. 

Variations for older kids: All age groups can play this game, but for older kids, you can turn it into a game of freeze dance. You can start and stop the music to have the kids freeze, and the last one to freeze is out. Freeze dance will have everyone moving and laughing at all the silly dance moves and various frozen poses.  

Young mom playing twister game with her children daughters. Happy family have a fun time in holiday

Games for Ages 5-8

At this age, kids are very into physical games instead of unstructured activities. They love games that have simple rules and are easy to follow. Ages 5 to 8 is also a great age to start introducing a healthy dose of competition and teaching kids how to be good sports about winning and losing. 

Parent involvement is not always necessary with this age group but is encouraged for enjoyment. 

  • Simon Says 

“Simon Says” is an easy game that kids love to play. First, you choose someone to be “Simon.” Someone designated as Simon will stand in front of the other players and begin the game by giving the other players a command. 

The other players must follow the commands that Simon says, but only if he/she states the words “Simon Says” before the command. For example, “Simon Says touch your nose.” 

You can increase the difficulty of the game by issuing commands quicker each time and making the commands more challenging to perform. 

  • Follow the Leader 

Similarly to Simon Says, someone chosen as the “leader,” will be followed around by the rest of the kids. The leader will take them around the house, under tables, and over chairs, and can add in some physical movements as well. (e.g., jumping jacks!)

kids playing with blocks on the floor. laughing brothers enjoy playing together at home

  • Hot Potato

The Players will form a circle and grab an object that is easy to toss a small ball or stuffed toy that works great! Then tell them to throw it to someone else as quickly as possible, and the game will keep repeating. This game is silly and laugh-inducing! 

Added fun: You can play short segments of music while the “potato” is tossed around the room. Once the music stops, the last one to touch it is out. The last child left is the winner. 

  • Duck, Duck, Goose

All the players except the person who is “it” will sit in a circle. The person who is “it” will make their way around the circle, gently tapping each person on the head saying “duck” until they deem someone as the “GOOSE!”.

The person deemed “goose” will chase the person who is “it” around the circle and try to tag him/her before they can take the vacant seat. If they are unsuccessful, they will become the new “it” person and continue the games by going around the circle. 

This classic game can get a little rowdy but is an excellent time for even adults. 

Three disguised children drawing inside a cabin at home.

Join Twin Cities Kids Club

These are just a few ideas to get the ball rolling. There are many other games to get kids up and moving and burning off some energy. All of these games can be played in an open indoor area if the weather is not suitable for a park or outdoor play.  

Check out Twin Cities Kids Club for more year-round fun and activities in the Twin Cities.

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