I’m going to share some simple ways to encourage your kids to stay active at home. Plus I’ll share some fun, family-friendly workouts you can all do together, so you can tick off your daily home exercise and keep your kids engaged and active at the same time!

We all need to move and stay active at home, it’s important for mums, dads and kids alike.

Not everyone knows that I was a fitness coach and friend to thousands of kids in my former PT role with Gecko Sports. I can’t express just how much I loved the impact I was able to have on those children’s development. Every day I got so much job satisfaction seeing them get fitter, stronger, and more skilled, with improved flexibility and posture, as well as greater self-esteem and improved confidence.

And, now I’m a parent myself, I pride myself on being active in getting active with my kids.

We are our kid’s role models, if you stay active they likely will too.

If you want to get your child to be more active, involving them in a sport can be a fantastic start but since that isn’t possible right now, there are still plenty of ways to get your kids to get fit and stay active at home.

Did you know that physically active parents are more likely to have physically-active kids, who are more likely to grow up to become active adults?

I believe that teaching our children to enjoy physical activity is one of the greatest gifts we can give them, as it sets them on the path to a lifetime of good health and it’s an added benefit that it helps us parents stay active too!

One of the ways you can do this is to find family-friendly workouts that can give you the exercise you need, but that’s fun and engaging for the kids, so they can work out with you!


And keep on reading for 8 more tips on how to get your kids active while at home!

exercise with your kids
How do I exercise with a toddler at home?

The best way to workout while your toddler is at home is to include them in your workout. There’s plenty of toddler-friendly workouts you can do at home that will keep you fit and will keep your toddler entertained at the same time.

Watch my home workout video for parents with toddlers to see how it’s done, then give the full-body workout a go yourself.

It is a challenging workout that will take you 20 about minutes – and you WILL work up a sweat!

how to workout at home with your baby

How do I encourage my children to get active and exercise at home?

Find something fun and new for them to do. Anything that gets your kids active, laughing and away from a screen can only be a good thing.

This could be something like:

1/ Dancing together to their favourite music (or yours!)
2/ A game of tug of war
3/ Random treasure hunts
4/ Good old fashioned hide and seek
5/ Teaching them how to shadow box
6/ A quick game of tag around the backyard
7/ Or even playing a kid-friendly home workout video so they can exercise along with mum or dad

You don’t need a lot of space, a lot of time, a lot of expertise or a lot of equipment to get your kids active and have a ball at home. Just use your imagination… and theirs!

Now, keep on reading for 8 more tips to getting your kids active and exercising at home!

Little Willow absolutely loves joining me in my workouts – so I’m sure your kids will love being active with you too.

Looking for a workout you can do at home with your toddler or baby?

Did you know you can have some play time with your toddler and still tick off your daily 28 minutes of exercise at the same time?

When it comes to exercising at home, you can take care of yourself, your partner and the kids by getting them all to join in on your home workouts. Check out this exercise routine that will keep you fit while you get some quality family time with your little ones!

VIDEO: a home workout designed to keep you fit… and your toddler entertained!

Get ready for a challenge, because this toddler-friendly home workout will make you sweat!

First, little Willow and I will show you how these 7 toddler-friendly home exercises are done, and then it’s your family’s turn.

  1. Bent over rows (15)
  2. High 5 Planks (30)
  3. Squats (15)
  4. Hallway sled push (you’ll need a large basket of some sort and a room with tiles or floorboards for this one!)
  5. Hallway walking lunge
  6. Sit-ups (15)
  7. Kayaks (30)

This kids-friendly home workout takes about 20 minutes, it’s a full-body workout, and is challenging enough to work up a sweat!

8 more tips for getting your kids active at home

There are so many reasons why we need to get active with our kids, that I honestly don’t know where to begin. The importance of being an active family is something that I could talk about all day, but to keep it simple, I’ll give you some practical examples that you can implement straight away.

I believe that teaching our children to enjoy physical activity is one of the greatest gifts we can give them.

1. Be a ‘do as I do’ not ‘as I say’ parent

Never underestimate the influence you have on your kids. Act as a role model and never forget- they are sponges that soak up your every-day behaviours. Lead by example and practice what you preach. For example, little Willow loves getting involved when I’m working out at home, so I’m sure yours will too.

get fit from home

2. Be patient, but persistent

Be patient until they find their passion. Some kids take a long time and need to try an array of activities before finding one or two that are right for them.

Walking with the family

3. Remember it’s ‘horses for courses’

When it comes to the activities that your kids want to do, there is no right or wrong choice. When the time is right, you can facilitate and support them in exploring as many different physical pursuits as you can. Don’t just limit then to soccer, footy, or netball.

Eve and Willow at footy practice

Try lots of different activities with your kids to broaden their skills and help them discover activities that they’ll love. The idea is to have fun, keep moving, and spend time together.

4. Think outside the box to help your child find their passion

Remember, if your child doesn’t like the ‘typical sports’ they do at school, that’s normal. It doesn’t mean your child isn’t sporty, it might simply be that your child isn’t suited to sports that involve a ball, or maybe they’re more suited to doing an individual sport rather than a team sport. It could also mean they prefer sports or physical activities that are a little ‘left of centre’. Again, this is very normal. The trick is finding ways to help them explore all the different ways you can get active.

The best way to teach our kids the kind of behaviour we’d like them to adopt is by doing it ourselves!

5. Let your imagination run wild

Anything that gets your kids active, laughing and away from a screen can only be a good thing. You don’t need a lot of space, a lot of time, a lot of expertise or a lot of equipment to get your kids active and have a ball. Dancing, tug of war, treasure hunts, good old fashioned hide and seek, back yard workouts with mum or dad, boxing, tag… the list goes on.

Sam & Willow on the trampoline

 6. Get active as a family

Getting active is always more fun when you have a little buddy by your side. Weekends are a great opportunity to spend quality time together as a family. Walk to the local café instead of taking the car. Take a ball to your nearest park, bike ride around the neighbourhood, go hunting for shells on the beach, or go to the local pool together for some family fun.

Snez walking with baby willow along the boardwalk

It’s easy to be active as a family and is one of life’s true pleasures. 

7. Be selfless

As much as we want our kids to be ‘the best’ or achieve sporting conquests that perhaps we never achieved in our own sporting lives, it’s important not to live vicariously through them. It’s a lot of pressure, which could lead to them associating physical activity with negative feelings. Never forget that the best message you can give your child is that you will support them no matter what choices they make, and you don’t care if they win or lose as long as they are having fun.

8. Most importantly – make ‘geting active’ fun!

Getting active helps our kids with strength, flexibility, speed, endurance, balance, co-ordination and the list goes on… but none of this will ever surpass the importance of having fun. If you help your child develop a healthy attitude towards physical activity at an early age it helps them make friends and build self-esteem and general confidence. And, once they feel good about being active, in most cases, these healthy habits will stick with them for a lifetime.

Try this fun kids workout the whole family can do together at home

Check out this live stream workout Snez and I did for all the kids stuck at home…. while playing dress-ups!

Find out how my home fitness program can work for you


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Posted by Sam Wood

Father and husband, on a mission to help people move more, eat better and make a positive change to their lives. Sam Wood has over 20 years experience as a personal trainer and is recognised as one of Australia’s leading experts and media commentators in the health & fitness industry. Sam is the founder and personal trainer of 28, Australia’s #1 home fitness and nutrition program, and he's also the proud owner of Australia’s largest personal training studio, The Woodshed, based in Brighton, Melbourne.