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Exercises For Children To Keep Them Active This Autumn

We’ve created a list of fun activities and exercises for children! All it takes is a little bit of planning to keep them moving…

Though many parents and carers manage to fill their summer with family fun, this can be quick to change when autumn comes along. It suddenly seems the little ones no longer want to play ball – literally.

Unfortunately, with cooler weather and with social media and gaming markets booming, children increasingly opt for a less active lifestyle and sway towards indoor pastimes.

You will likely find that instead getting out and about, children will often sit watching repeated TV episodes, playing on their game console, or simply scrolling through their phone all day. It seems criminal!

For those sadly witnessing this behaviour, take a look at our guide to exercises for children – you might even find yourself getting fitter this autumn!


1. Create A Family Sports Day

With National Fitness Day here, what better way to get involved than a family sports day? A well-planned school sports day goes down extremely well with both children and their elders. Hence, a family-orientated sports day has potential to be the ultimate sporting event for your youngsters.

Sibling rivalry or the prospect of bagging first place over a grown-up, can spur children to put 100% effort and attention into the races. This will help redirect their focus from their phone, TV or computer and put it into family bonding instead!

Exercises For Kids To Keep Them Active This Autumn - Hints, Tips and Ideas from Stadia Sports

Good to know: Playing sports as a team is great for improving your overall health.

Not only will a family sports day keep everyone active, but seeing their grandparents take part in an egg and spoon (or, if feeling adventurous, sack race) will no doubt bring lots of laughter.

Tip: We don’t suppose you’ll run a Family Sports Day more than once a year so you might want to go ‘all-out’ on this one! To make the event a little more exciting, add real eggs to the egg and spoon race and swap a normal ball for a water balloon in any throwing activities.

For older participants, having a ‘plank off’ can make this sports day more physically challenging whilst fun, easy to plan, and inexpensive. Take a look at all our sports day ideas.


2. Go On A Bike Ride Or Gentle Jog

If you don’t have the garden space or local play area to create your own sports day, don’t fret. Opt for going for a bike ride or a country walk instead. This is a great activity as it allows you and the children to get away from the house for some ‘proper’ exercise.

Exercises For Kids To Keep Them Active This Autumn - Hints, Tips and Ideas from Stadia Sports

Tip: Riding your bike at the same pace as your youngster can be fun, though jogging alongside them makes for a better workout. – Whole Life Challenge

Don’t make the bike ride or jog too long; if children are reluctant to get active, you don’t want it to feel like a chore. It’s important that children spend around 60 minutes doing physical activity every day, but you don’t need to pack it all in in one go.

“Kids need to be active for 60 minutes a day.” – Change 4 Life

Children should enjoy exercising. Therefore, once they find a sport that’s suited to them, you’ll soon see their love for exercise grow. Exercises for children are also the perfect way to give them a real sense of achievement by learning a new skill.

Remember: Make sure you wear a helmet when you ride your bike. This is extremely important to ensure you remain safe, particularly if riding on roads or busy streets.


3. Local Sports Clubs

When the nights draw in, many parents will opt for nursery care or a child-minder to take care of the little ones in the evenings. Particularly because the dark nights make playing out with friends, and even walking back from school, slightly more dangerous. However this can be rather expensive.

One way to make the most of this investment is to pay for after-school sports clubs instead of your usual childcare choice. This needn’t be a replacement for every day of the week; it’s enough to introduce exercises for children as and when you can.

If you employ a child-minder, why not enquire about including additional fitness activities as a part of their weekly schedule?

Exercises For Kids To Keep Them Active This Autumn - Hints, Tips and Ideas from Stadia Sports

Good to Know: Sports clubs offer children many benefits including self esteem, leadership skills, good citizenship and overall improvements to health and wellbeing.


4. Visit The Swimming Baths

Swimming is a perfect activity for children; it offers many physical benefits as well as being great for social and mental skill development, for example, self confidence. It’s also one of the more accessible exercises for children; that’s because many local authority-owned swimming baths run schemes at reasonable prices.

Exercises For Kids To Keep Them Active This Autumn - Hints, Tips and Ideas from Stadia Sports

Good To Know: Well-known swimming equipment supplier, Speedo, carried out research which showed that swimming can make us feel more confident about the way we look.

Plus, more often than not, your children will like the adventure of exploring a new environment; be that a standard swimming pool or a giant water park full of slides and other wet playground equipment. It’s a win-win!

Swimming Improves Sleep!

Swimming is an excellent form of low-impact cardiovascular activity. That means it offers the right balance of aerobic exercise for the whole body without putting pressure on specific muscles. With children’s bodies constantly changing as they grow, it’s important they exercise enough to burn off excess energy and fat. 

Exercises For Kids To Keep Them Active This Autumn - Hints, Tips and Ideas from Stadia Sports

Burning off excess energy will help your child get a good night’s sleep, which has numerous benefits in itself.


5. Dance Party

Although we’d like autumn to bring us weeks and weeks of sunshine, there’s sadly too many times where we’re stuck inside because of the rain. This is the perfect chance to close the blinds, set the furniture aside and stream some classic tunes to get everyone moving.

Exercises For Kids To Keep Them Active This Autumn - Hints, Tips and Ideas from Stadia Sports

Tip: Some child-friendly albums currently trending on Spotify include the Frozen soundtrack and The Greatest Showman soundtrack. Put your children in control of what songs you play to really get them involved and make it as enjoyable as possible.

Why not make it a play-party? Filling your living room with more youngsters will improve the dance-off atmosphere! It’s a good idea to check the weather forecast and plan with other parents to find suitable days for children to get together. 

Furthermore, this can reduce the need for child care in the evenings and at the weekends. If you and other school parents and guardians are willing to host an ‘activity party’ once or twice every few weeks, it can massively reduce your nursery bills. This will free up a bit of income to invest in future family days out or savings.


6. Ten-Minute Shake Ups

Change 4 Life is one of the biggest government schemes currently aiming to get children active. They’ve cleverly come out with children’s workout programmes that include Disney-inspired exercises. These are known as 10 Minute Shake Ups.

The activities involve single players as well as multiple players. That means you can encourage your child to get stuck into these exercises whether their friends are visiting or whether they’re just entertaining themselves. This caters to children who may by shy and find group sporting activities particularly daunting.

Exercises For Kids To Keep Them Active This Autumn - Hints, Tips and Ideas from Stadia Sports

You can find the entire collection of shake up workouts on the NHS Change 4 Life page. To get you started, we’ve picked out our favourites:

Single-Player Shake Ups

Multiplayer Shake Ups


7. Outdoor Treasure Hunt

Setting up an outdoor trail or treasure hunt is a great way to get children physically and mentally active. Adding a little competition element to the hunt is a great way to encourage a bit more commitment to the exercise activity. It’s also a great way to employ a sense of reward and achievement which can help to build confidence – a crucial thing to consider.

You can take inspiration from Easter Hunts when children have the excitement of finding chocolate and sweets to eat. However, although great fun and a reward in itself, this isn’t ideal when you’re looking to keep children healthy and active.

Exercises For Kids To Keep Them Active This Autumn - Hints, Tips and Ideas from Stadia Sports

Tip: Try to keep chocolate and other sugary foods as a treat only. We recommend giving a small bag of sweets or chocolate as the final prize, rather than something children should hunt and guzzle along the way.

You can make the hunt more educational by setting tasks to find certain insects, types of flowers, and other similar attractions. This helps children to understand more about the things in our day to day environment and surroundings.


8. Build Something

Making a sandcastle, a cardboard fort (or anything large-scale and creative) is a great way to get children up and on their feet, whilst also disguising exercise as a new activity. In most cases, this is a low-cost form of exercise which also gets their brains ticking away.

They will develop problem solving skills, improve their creativity and ability to think “outside the box” which will be extremely beneficial in and outside the school walls.

Exercises For Kids To Keep Them Active This Autumn - Hints, Tips and Ideas from Stadia Sports

Remember: If you don’t have the equipment, regular schedule, or space for traditional sport, finding productive exercises for children is a perfect solution for the activity gap.

We suggest the following projects:

  • A den – As a reward, you could allow them to sleep in it for a night.
  • A garden plot – Gardening is harder work than you might think! Plus the excitement of growing your own vegetables can be exciting for both the children and yourselves. It can show them what it takes to care for something, teaching an important lesson in responsibility.
  • A cardboard boat or car to ‘wear’ – This is a great project which will keep them occupied and active for a few days. The idea is to create a cardboard structure which they can step into or fit over the head. Help them attach shoulder straps so they can wear it outside to race in the garden, park or along a safe pedestrian area. To really get the most out of the activity, let them break out the paints and really invest time in their construction; they can even involve friends!

Summary of Suggestions

To summarise, it might seem a daunting task to pull children away from their screens, however you now have 8 fun exercises for children to fill the time in the afternoons and at the weekends. Let’s take a look back at your options:

  1. Create a family sports day and involve the entire family plus friends and neighbours to increase participation numbers.
  2. Go on a bike ride or jog. It doesn’t matter if it’s around the estate you live on or a 30-min drive to the local forest or nature path. Make use of the resources and facilities around you.
  3. Take them to the local sports centre or club nearby. See what activities and training they offer and agree with your kids which sports they should take up.
  4. Go to the local swimming baths and see if they take to it like a duck to… well, water! Plus, if you’re in the pool treading water with them, you get the chance to exercise too.
  5. Host a dance party and invite friends and family over. Don’t let bad weather be an excuse to stop children exercising.
  6. Take part in the 10 minute shake ups by Change 4 Life. Teach your children activities they can do alone as well as those with friends.
  7. Create an outdoor treasure hunt and reward your children with treats other than sugary snacks. Try a trip to their favourite park, a day out at the zoo or safari and similar. It can be as expensive or inexpensive as you like.
  8. Build something with them. Turn it into a week long project to prolong their excitement and keep their hyperactive minds focused on something productive rather than causing trouble!

It’s important to remember that the best way to encourage a long-lasting, healthy lifestyle is to make childhood exercise as interesting as possible.

One final tip…

Don’t be too serious – exercises for children are most beneficial when they’re fun, and that’s something you can’t force!