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25+ Fun (and cheap!) Ways to be Active as a Family

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Needing some inspiration for new and fun ways to be active as a family?

I love to play outside with my kids. We can do sidewalk chalk, swing on the tire swing, ride bikes, and top it all off with a popsicle every day and never get bored.

But it’s always fun to try something new.

I went on a hunt and asked some of the experts for their favorite ways to be active as family. I also told them they’d get bonus points if the activity was cheap (or free!), haha.

I’ve broken up this list into 3 categories to help keep it organized: ways to be active as a family outdoors, indoors, and with others.

Let’s get to it!

25+ ways to be active as a family

Ways to be Active as a Family Outdoors

Alrighty, my favorite place to be active with my family – OUTDOORS. Check out these fun ideas…

Neighborhood Walks or Jogs

When we’re all feeling antsy or have a case of “cabin fever,” I know it’s time to spend more than just a few minutes outside. A neighborhood walk is one of the most simple (and cheapest) ways to be active as a family – including the dogs!

While you’re on this walk, why not take home some colorful items to make your own nature color wheel?! This is right up my daughter’s alley!

“Nature Walk”

My girls love to look at bugs, flowers, and point out the different colors of cars going by. But honestly, I never really thought about how these experiences could be educational. I love how Diane shares some simple proactive steps to make these sweet walks even more memorable – and instructional. Check out her post here.


Depending on where you live, the type of hike you do will vary. We live in central Florida – so we have a very few number of months that aren’t sweltering, and there certainly aren’t any mountains around here. But, we do still have trails through the woods and marshes.

For the absolute best 10 tips for hiking with kids, check out this post from Jenn at Take Them Outside.

If there teenagers are in your group, check out these insightful pros (and cons) from Suburbia Unwrapped.

Ride Bicycles

My oldest daughter recently learned how to ride bikes – and it is one of our favorite things to do together! If it is safe to do so, expand your ride beyond your neighborhood and ride to do errands, to appointments, or to pick-up/drop-off your kiddos from childcare.

Skate or Scoot

Some great coordination practice here! Skating, roller blading, and riding a scooter are great ways for kids to practice their stability and coordination. Plus, they’re fun!

7 healthy lifestyle secrets

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7 Secrets to a Healthy Lifestyle – Without Sacrificing Hours of Time

Here are the 7 secrets you need to maintain a healthy lifestyle without spending hours of time each week in the gym. These secrets are perfect for moms who are looking for small things to do every day that can make a BIG difference!

Play Catch

So honestly, I don’t think I really thought there was much “strategy” involved in throwing a ball and didn’t play ball until 7th grade. By that time, it was really too late. My husband still teases me about how I only fling a ball with my elbow. Teach your kids to play catch to save them from being awkward like me, haha.

You can use a softball, tennis ball, basketball, football, baseball, inflatable ball, foam ball, rubber ball – just get out there!

Simply Play!

Nothing beats free-time, especially outside. Kids need time to be able to explore, run, use their imaginations, and (cringe) get a little dirty. It’s so fun to see what they come up with when left to their own devices (safely, of course). Kids can easily make up their own rules to new games or recreate some old favorites.

For 5 extra fun ideas that won’t even feel like “exercise,” head on over to Snacking in Sneakers.

Plant a Garden

If any of you are gardeners, you know what I mean when I say it is definitely one of the ways to be active as a family. Stooping, bending, hauling, raking – it’s all hard work!

As an added level of fun, plant fruits and vegetables that you can include in your meals. Your family will find great delight in eating things that they helped to grow!

Nature Scavenger Hunt

The first time Jenn did a nature scavenger hunt for her kids, she says “I scribbled down some things for them to find on a recycled receipt, gave them a used bag and sent them on their way.” But apparently they hunted for over an hour and had a blast!

Now, she’s put together a “real” how-to guide on how to make a nature scavenger hunt even more fun for her kiddos. Check out her post here – and make sure to grab her free printable as well!

Chalk Obstacle Course

Oh goodness, this was one of our favorite activities during the summer of 2020 when we were stuck at home. All you need is sidewalk chalk and some pavement!

My oldest was about to start Pre-K, so I would make obstacle courses that encouraged her to learn the sequence of numbers, spell her name, and distinguish shapes. You can also ask them to follow lines, jump to/from certain points, spin x number of times, etc. No limits here!


If your kids are anything like mine, they love to run!! I can make anything a timed “race” and they’ll be all about it – even if it’s just running from one side of the yard to another.

But if running is a bit more serious to you, or you think you may have an avid runner on your hands, check out these 10 pro tips from Chrissy with Snacking in Sneakers.

get out and play to have a more active family

Trampoline Games

We didn’t have a trampoline growing up, but we made sure to jump extra long whenever we visited friends! If your family has a trampoline (or is interested in getting one) you’ve gotta try out these great trampoline games from Two Kids and a Coupon

Help with Chores

Uh, what better way to get those hearts pumping than by helping out with chores? There is always something to be done – leaves to rake, porches to sweep, weeds to pull, things to wash…you get the idea.

Ways to be Active as a Family Indoors

Alright, let’s move inside for some fun ways to be active as a family when the weather is less than ideal or other things keep you cooped up.

Kid-Friendly HIIT Video

HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) workouts are a serious way to get the wiggles out and work up a sweat indoors. There are tons of great (and safe) workout videos for kids on YouTube!

Next time you’re looking for a workout video, try out this one by Moe Jones!

Keep an eye on your kiddos to make sure they’re doing the exercises safely as to prevent injury.


Continuing with YouTube, if you haven’t given Cosmic Kids Yoga a try, you are seriously missing out! Jaime’s videos are some of my favorite things to put on for my little girls when they need to be active indoors (ahem, rainy season in Florida).

For a super fun Frozen-themed yoga adventure, check out Cosmic Kid’s video here.

Help with Chores

Yeah…again with the chores. I like chores because I enjoy having a clean house…I won’t deny it. Vacuuming can work up a serious sweat and there’s no reason why your kiddos can’t learn to help with some of the age-appropriate chores.

For more tips on how to always have a clean house – even with young children at home – check out these helpful cleaning tips from Okie Sunshine.

Play Hide and Seek

My daughters love to play hide and seek, and thankfully, my husband is a good sport about playing it with them. They’re not the greatest hiders at 5 and 2, but the scurrying through the house always burns some energy! Games like this will hopefully be sweet and memorable ways to be active as a family as the kids grow.

Play “Octopus”

“Octopus” was a family game growing up where my dad would wrestle with us and try to pin us down playfully with his legs. My dad is 6.5 feet tall, so you can just imagine how much fun it was to try and avoid those long legs swinging around!

Be careful with this one – it usually ended up in one of my younger brothers crying, but usually out of frustration or pride, haha.


Truthfully, I used to roll my eyes when I saw “dance party” on someone’s activity list. But then, I had kids. Y’all, dance with your kids! They absolutely love it and it’s one of the most fun ways to be active as a family.

If you need a little structure (or don’t have a natural dancing gene like me haha), use this Disney-themed dance video that’s perfect for the whole family!

Set Up a Home Gym

To have a functional home gym, you really don’t need that much equipment, especially if it is meant to be used and enjoyed by all members of your family. Consider these ideas:

  • yoga/stretching mat
  • stability ball
  • set of weights (especially lighter weights)
  • resistance bands
  • aerobic step
  • TV/Computer Station for workout videos

Optional pieces would be a treadmill, elliptical, or stationary bike.

Low-impact workouts are great options for the entire family. Check out these 5 surprisingly easy ways to get a great low impact workout at home.

7 healthy lifestyle secrets

Like these tips? Then you’ll love these…

7 Secrets to a Healthy Lifestyle – Without Sacrificing Hours of Time

Here are the 7 secrets you need to maintain a healthy lifestyle without spending hours of time each week in the gym. These secrets are perfect for moms who are looking for small things to do every day that can make a BIG difference!

Video Games

Say whaaat? Yup, you heard me (or, “read” me haha) correctly. I know it’s kinda old-school at this point, but consoles and games such as the Nintendo Wii and Xbox Kinect will have you up and out of your seat. There’s something for everyone with adventure, sports, and dance games.

Keep it Up

I have fond memories of my siblings yelling to each other “sacrifice your body!” trying to keep a ball in the air. People will do crazy things for competition’s sake – especially against siblings! If you’re going to use this as one of the ways to be active as a family indoors, I’d definitely recommend using an inflated balloon or lightweight beach ball.

Rearrange and Reorganize

Around our house, if something has been thrown away, my family generally knows I’m to blame. But hey, it does keep the clutter at bay! If your home needs a little freshening up or new life, move around some furniture or burn some energy by reorganizing and decluttering.

Turn Off the Screens

Sounds simple, but easier said than done. It’s hard to find and try new ways to be active as a family when you’re glued to your screens. Try blocking out certain hours or times of day to give your family screen-free time and do something active together.

Ways to be Active as a Family with Others

As much fun as our families can be, being active as a family with other people just sweetens the deal – especially now that things are returning to “normal” after the pandemic. Here are a few ideas to get you back out there and having fun!

how to be more active and fit as family

Sign Up for a Sport

Check your local Parks & Rec department or Facebook pages from your area to find the latest information about sport leagues for kids and adults. Your local YMCA may also provide programs. Here’s a few reasons why getting your kids active through organized sports is a good idea:

  • Scheduled active minutes into your day on a regular basis
  • Improve coordination
  • Develop teamwork skills
  • Make new friends
  • Build confidence and self-esteem
  • Learn to listen and respect other adults’ authority


If you have the skills to do so, volunteer and sign-up to coach your kiddos sport league teams. It’s one of the great ways to be active as a family and build lasting memories! My husband and daughter just wrapped up their first t-ball season. Coaching t-ball is kinda like “herding cats,” but they had a lot of fun together.

Join a Gym/the YMCA

“It’s fun to stay at the YMCA!” We love going to the Y. I teach an indoor cycling class twice a week, but we also go for other classes and to use the pool. There’s so much to do for everyone and, over time, you’ll recognize new faces and start to make friends.

I chose the YMCA over other local gyms because of their access to the pool and the babysitting services while I work out. But, you may have different options in your area.

Go Swimming

Have you ever heard that when kids are feeling a little crazy, you should either put them outside or in water? I’m here to tell you that it works! And an outdoor pool checks both of those boxes! Swimming is one of my favorite ways to be active as a family. You can enjoy floating, splashing, practice swimming skills, playing games, and soaking up the sun (don’t forget your sunscreen!).

Bonus benefit of swimming: your kids will be exhausted and ready for a nap! You’re welcome, haha.

Playground Playdate

We love the playground! Make it even more fun by inviting other families to join you and turn it into a playdate.

I’m always amazed at how strong kids are at the park! They can all climb, do monkey bars, and have enough energy to run for what seems like hours. I for one can’t do the monkey bars very well at all. I want to continue taking my kids to the playground so that they can keep up those strength skills as they grow.

How to be More Active as a Family

P.E. (or Physical Education) is important for everyone, but there’s an added level of responsibility if you homeschool your family. Hess Un-Academy has an awesome master list of over 100+ easy and fun ideas that can be used for homeschoolers – or families like ours just looking to have a good time!

I also really love this Family Fitness Challenge printable from Nellie at Brooklyn Active Mama! She has so many fun ways to be active as a family and ideas for turning it into a game.

Here is her advice on how to use it:

  1. You can cross off one activity a day until you are done
  2. You can cut the paper up into individual exercises, put them in a jar. Take a chance to see which one you will do.
  3. Have one family member call out a random exercise for everyone to do
  4. Challenge each other to see which who can do the most exercises the fastest.
  5. Choose a vertical, horizontal or diagonal line and do those workouts for the day.

Phew, my bucket list of new ways to be active as a family just got way longer! Hope yours did too. Have fun out there!

7 healthy lifestyle secrets

Like these tips? Then you’ll love these…

7 Secrets to a Healthy Lifestyle – Without Sacrificing Hours of Time

Here are the 7 secrets you need to maintain a healthy lifestyle without spending hours of time each week in the gym. These secrets are perfect for moms who are looking for small things to do every day that can make a BIG difference!

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