Let’s Get Physical: Fun and Fitness With Kids

Let’s Get Physical: Fun and Fitness


Dr. Valerie Allen

Back in the day, kids ran home from school, grabbed their bikes, and hit the street looking to play with other kids. The excitement of skipping a stone across a puddle, watching a worm inch its way across the sidewalk, and chasing butterflies were part of the big adventures of childhood. Today, it’s hard to find children playing or walking outside. Various factors are involved in this, including safety concerns, planned school, church, and community activities, electronic devices, and time constraints of working parents, to name a few. The importance of physical activity and communing with nature cannot be understated. Here is how some of these activities can be reclaimed in this new age.

Fine motor skills develop eye-hand coordination and is used in tasks such as handwriting, working with hand tools, art, and threading a needle.

  • Outdoor activities to enhance these skills include: ball games, Frisbee toss, golf, and tennis.
  • Indoor activities include jigsaw puzzles, dot-to-dot, mazes, shuffling and dealing cards, checkers, chess, drawing, painting, jacks, pick-up-sticks, ping-pong, sewing cards, knitting, and arts and craft activities.
  • Chores can include help preparing meals by mixing ingredients and cracking eggs. Children can fold the laundry, wash dishes and pots and pans, set the table, clean pet areas, dust furniture, and water the lawn or garden.

Gross motor skills include the use of large muscles which improve balance and build strength.

  • Outdoor activities include, swimming, running, walking, bike riding, skating, jump rope, hopping, skipping, hop-scotch,  follow the leader, Pogo sticks, Hula-hoops, skate boards, and scooters.
  • Indoor activities include using the stairs, stretching, toe touching, marching in place, and bending from the waist.  
  • Chores also can be incorporated such as washing the car or house windows,  sweeping the sidewalk, pulling weeds, and walking and washing the dog, washing the floor, collecting and taking out the trash.

The wonders of nature include an awareness of the beauty and serenity in the natural world. It is important for children to understand the cycle of life in its many forms and the symbiotic relationship of man and the environment.

  • Outside activities include a quiet stroll observing natural things in the environment as opposed to man-make objects. Identifying plants and animals. Watching the habits of birds and small game and listening to their vocalizations. Seeing the color, shape, and height of grasses and flowers. Noticing the different smells in various areas. Feeling the change in temperature while in the sun and in shade, and with the change of time.
  • Inside activities can include planting a windowsill garden, having a fish tank, having and caring for a pet.
  •  Chores can include planting, weeding, watering, and mowing grassy areas. Tending to lawns and gardens with fertilizer and insecticides. Safeguarding animals with shelter, building a bird house, and providing food and water.

There are many simple ways of encouraging your child to be fit and have fun whether inside, outside, or with daily chores!

~ ~ ~

Dr. Valerie Allen is a child psychologist in private practice. She  has published two children’s chapter books, “Summer School for Smarties” and “Bad Hair, Good Hat, New Friends”   and  a  picture book  for beginning readers, “The  Sun and The Moon.”  Oh yes, she has also raised six children!

17 thoughts on “Let’s Get Physical: Fun and Fitness With Kids

  1. I love everything about this. Physical education was one of the highlights of each school day. It was an opportunity to play with my students, and to show them that we could have fun, regardless of which team won.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Hi Pete,
      Thank you for stopping by my blog today and leaving a comment! I loved PE and recess in Elementary School. I swam competitively since I was 6 years old. I have remained active as an adult. Exercise doesn’t have to be a chore. You did a great thing with and for your students to teach them that!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I love this list! I have been getting my 3 year old daughter to help around the house chores like feeding the cats, folding her towels, setting up the table for meals. The best part is I love to dance crazy dance moves with her whenever a retro song comes on the radio. So much fun!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That’s so great that you have her help with chores! I remember my daughter loving to help me with simple things too. And the fun, crazy dance—that’s wonderful! It will teach her that chores are fun by building such good memories.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This is such a great message! 😊

    Plenty of opportunities from COVID-19, from financial to self-growth.
    I’ve explored several myself recently. 🤔

    At home workouts with your kids is a great way to spend this time.

    Well written, thanks for sharing! 😄

    Liked by 2 people

  4. This is awesome and such a great reminder to let children spend time doing a variety of tasks, both outdoors and indoors. I loved my childhood running around the yard and playing outside.

    Liked by 1 person

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