35 Fit, Fun and Mostly Free Activities for Kids

Growing up in the 80’s, it wasn’t hard to be active. Because social media didn’t exist and phones didn’t have call waiting, if I wanted to see my friends, I ran around the neighborhood to find them. If I couldn’t wait to share a big girly secret, I would walk miles to tell my gal pals.

Today, kids of all ages (and I’m speaking of myself, too) often use technology as their main tool to socialize and communicate. As a result, we don’t have as many opportunities to be active as we once did. While I do enjoy the conveniences and pizzazz of our multi-media lives, I want to be sure to instill a love of activities filled with personal interaction for my son. In an effort to practice what I preach, here is a list of activities to keep a young kid (and his mother) fit while having fun.

35 Fit, Fun & Mostly Free Activities for Kids

1. Go to the local high school track and run races

2. Go to trails or a playground and ride bikes with a picnic in tow

3. Have a fitness scavenger hunt. Tape fitness activities to scavenger hunt items (Do five push ups then find the next clue.)

4. Start a garden; weed and plant together

5. Play tag through the sprinklers

6. Swim in a pool, lake or ocean

7. Bodyboard in the small waves

8. Hike at a nature center, arboretum or small mountain

9. List favorite fitness activities on index cards and put in a box. Each family member pulls one card out of the box after each night (i.e. play catch, go for a walk, etc.)

10. Buy kites (and fly them)

11. Sign up for a 5K race with a kids race prior

12. Create a mini-Olympics with age appropriate activities

13. Play basketball, baseball, soccer or other favorite sports outside

14. Go bowling

15. Go mini-golfing

16. Go ice skating

17. Visit a zoo or museum and wear pedometers to see how many steps taken

18. Go fishing

19. Take a family karate class

20. Create an obstacle course with hula hoops, swing sets and tunnels

21. Play Wii, Xbox or other sports driven video games

22. Play Tag, Follow the Leader, Hopscotch, Four Square, the Hokey Pokey and Simon Says

23. After a rain (or during, if we’re daring), go puddle jumping

24. Create a new music playlist and have a dance party

25. Find a good family yoga DVD or kids class

26. Skating and scooting – rollerblade and scooter together

27. Play frisbee – young kids can use the soft ones

28. Jump rope

29. Play laser tag

30. Visit an indoor bounce house

31. Host a water balloon fight

32. Visit a fitness center (i.e. MyGym, YMCA, etc.)

33. Find an indoor climbing wall

34. Clean the house race – set a timer and see who can clean their room the quickest

35. Play outdoor BBQ games like horseshoes, shuffleboard or a bean bag toss

What are your favorite summer activities to keep your kids active? While I know Pokémon GO is the new rage, I’m not sure that exerts a ton of physical activity.

Here are some of our favorite playtime activities for summer:


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  1. Watching Days of our Lives counts, right?!

  2. Caryn Sullivan

    Absolutely…if you are watching it while on the treadmill or doing jumping jacks during the commercials.

  3. They are opening a new trampoline gym park in Trumbull. They have one on Long Island and it is so fabulous. Guaranteed to tire your kids out ( and you too- lol)

  4. Caryn Sullivan

    Thanks Alecia. That is great news. I’ve read that rebounding is not only great exercise but terrific for the lymph system. It’s a healthy activity not only for kids, but us, too.

  5. Go for a walk or bikeride or scoot around your neighbourhood.

    Also, just dump them in the backyard and see what they come up with on their own :-)

  6. Caryn Sullivan

    Love it. The creativity of kids often exceeds that of adults. My 5-yo suggested planting our little herb plant near the bushes last weekend. We did it…and now will see what happens. I didn’t expect gardening together to be such an active and fun family experience. The great big bonus is now that he helped me plant, he is invested in seeing them grow. He now waters them daily.

  7. This is such a great list! It’s easy to get stuck in a rut and get bored doing the same things over and over. Pinning!
    Lauren recently posted…Art: It’s Not Just for Kids!

    • Thanks Lauren for Pinning the post and stopping by. I’ve learned so much over the past year. I laugh at some of what I thought I was doing right…or what I liked. I’m excited to see how much changes in Year II. Thanks for the support over this past year, too.

  8. I love this – all good suggestions. One of the reasons why I hit the road with the kids every summer is to get away from technology. And it’s sooooo hot in Atlanta, they hate being outside. We do spend a fair amount of time in the car – but we match it with walking/hiking/swimming. But there’s no Wii, computers, or Tivo!
    Allie recently posted…Before You Hit the Road This Summer

    • I’m glad you like the suggestions. I love that you take road trips to get away from technology. Two nights ago the power went out on our road. It was really nice to see everyone try and read by candle/flash light. I think we should try and instill that once a week. The calmness of the dark technology-less night.

  9. We love mini golf, roller skating at the rink that hasn’t changed since the 1970s, and keeping in shape for ice hockey season by running around and skating when we can.

    (What are the odds that you and I both came up with 35 activities on our “this summer…” FTSF post?! I think that’s cool!)
    Katy @ Experienced Bad Mom recently posted…Experienced Bad Mom’s Guide to School-age Summer Fun

    • Great minds think alike….35 is such a random number, but significant, right??? I have to say that I don’t think we have a roller skating rink in a 60-mile radius. It’s such a shame because I have soooooooo many fun childhood memories at the rink. Happy Summer to you.

  10. I miss the 80’s! We do a lot of swimming and kicking the ball around at a playground although it’s really hot and humid here near DC. We’ve never hosted a water balloon fight but that sounds fun!
    Kristi Campbell recently posted…I Hope I Get This Summer Right

    • If you miss the 80’s…I hope you watch “The Goldbergs” on ABC. It’s hilarious and the props and scenery reflect the decade exactly. I’m glad you enjoyed the post. I hope you create your own water balloon fight this summer. Enjoy.

  11. Ah! I want to be a kid again and do ALL of these. What fun! Super list.

    • Thanks. Glad you stopped by and enjoyed the list. Summer vacation started for us today so I’m super excited for a fun-filled summer.

  12. Another great list of summer ideas! Kites…now there’s one I haven’t done in years and will be new to our daughter. Fun!
    Lisa @ The Meaning of Me recently posted…Library Day – How to Get Your Kid’s Nose Stuck Inside a Book

  13. I really like this ideas. Thanks so much for sharing. I remember once as a kid where my friend and I made a huge mud castle our backyard. It was a gigantic mess but I loved every second.
    We lived right next door and didn’t even have a fence. It was so-o much fun. I miss those days!

    • That sounds like fun. I, too, miss those days, too. We would all ride our bikes for miles or run several blocks to a nearby park and stay for hours. I’m sure it also seemed simple because we had few worries as a child.

  14. sharlette

    nice love all of them ideas

  15. Fun ideas! When I was a kid, I loved riding my bike. Now, I like to walk in the park :)
    Akaleistar recently posted…I’m Not A Nurse But I Played One On TV

    • I used to live near Central Park and LOVED walking int he park, too. So zen…and could take my mind anywhere outside of my own life. :)

  16. This is a well-rounded list! I grew up in the 80’s too and I remember the screen restrictions being so different, because there weren’t as many options. Just one fuzzy TV for five kids to share for a half hour a day! ha! I used to climb a lot of trees.
    I will do these things on your list. We do have two ice skating arenas near us, which is awesome. Mini golf is a family favorite, as well as family bike riding and hiking.
    Tamara recently posted…I Second That Emotion.

    • Thanks. I love ice skating, too. Lately we’ve either been biking or scooting…one of us bikes and the other scoots or runs. It’s anything goes during the summertime and I love it.

  17. Great list! Swimming is like the easiest way to get in some exercise. Luckily, my kids are like fish so we do an awful lot of that.
    Jen recently posted…The Happy Now Blog Link- Up # 18

    • We just started swimming a lot more since Kyle finally learned how to really swim. He’s so proud of his new skills and it really now IS exercise for him. Thanks.

  18. These are all wonderful ideas. I miss having a pool nearby, the kids use to love walking down to the pool during the summer in SC. I love the clean the house race idea! My brother and I actually would play that ourselves, without my parents prompting us. :D

  19. agree with you. social media make children nowaday more passive. i wish i could be a child again to do all of these. wonderful ideas, thanks
    carol recently posted…How to Use Nursing Pillows

    • Keep me posted. Please share here or on our social media channels what you like/don’t like. I love to hear how other parents and kids embrace fitness or an active lifestyle. I do remember fondly the days of playing “Kick the Can” for hours. Only 1 of my friends had an Atari and we couldn’t all play at once, so at least half of us still ran around the house. Those were the good ‘ol days, right?

  20. Wow. Such a nice post. I’ve got lots of interesting ideas for this weekend. Thanks a lot for sharing. Enjoy your weekend too :)

  21. Thanks for this great collection!
    These activities are really interesting and no kids can reject!

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