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Motivating Movement

Three quick tips for making kids’ fitness fun!

Sometimes the hardest part about having active kids is getting them excited to be active in the first place. Here are a few tips to get moving along with some of our favorite activities for you to try!

PowerUp Fitness offers a variety of unique fitness programs! PowerUp programs are designed to provide children with the opportunity to become more active, physically and mentally. Learn more about us and our mission to PowerUp children's development with fitness and fun in our About Section!

Tip #1 Age Appropriate Activities

When choosing an exercise or activity for kids it is important to choose one that is age appropriate. Older kids will get bored with activities meant for younger kids, and younger kids might find activities meant for older kids difficult and frustrating. For older kids, give Guess the Steps a try. Although all ages can enjoy this activity, older students (6th-8th grade) enjoy the self-competition and accuracy that goes along with this one.

Guess the Steps

Everyone estimates how many heel-to-toe steps they will need to take to cross the room. After participants cross, see who is nearest to their own estimate. Try other exercises like long jumps, hip-hops, lunges, etc.

After each measurement is completed, have students:

  • Find the difference between their estimation versus their actual measurement

  • Visualize the number line and estimate how far off they were from 0 (did they overestimate, underestimate)

Take it a step further - see what we did there - and have students plot their estimate vs actual measurements as a group, look for trendlines and standard error of the estimate.

At home or small space option: Instead of long distances, have students estimate the number of jumping jacks they can do in a certain amount of time i.e 30 seconds.

Number line, over/underestimating, estimated vs actual brain boost can all still be applied.

Tip #2 Fitness with Friends

Group games and activities can also be a great motivator for kids. What isn’t more fun with friends? This also opens the opportunity for the kids to motivate each other, encouraging their friend to play a game or do an activity with them. Try PowerUp’s Rock, Paper, Scissors game as a group activity and then play again, playing in pairs or small groups!

Rock, Paper, Scissors

Have you ever played rock, paper, scissors? Instead of using our hands, participants will use their bodies! All participants can play against an instructor or they can partner up. If you want to play rock, you’ll get in a squat position, for scissors do a jumping jack, and for paper, get into a plank. Start with backs facing each other, count 1, 2, 3, go! Then turn around and make your move!

  • Rock (squat) beats scissors (jumping jack)

  • scissors beats paper (plank)

  • Plank (paper) beats rock

Tip #3 Focus on the Fun!

It is also important that YOU focus on the fun of the activity. When giving instructions, be excited about the game/activity, put emphasis on the fun! Kids want to have fun so they need to be fully engaged in the activity, this means not staying on the same exercise or activity for too long. Pay attention to how kids are interacting with the activity and be sure to change things up when they seem fulfilled and ready to move to the next activity.


Download this printable pdf version of Motivating Movement!

Did you enjoy these activities? Take a look at our activity bundles or even request sample lesson plans to learn more!

For 100’s of activities, games, and exercises that can be implemented in-person, virtually or at home, check out our PowerUp programs!


PowerUp Fitness is an Advocate Member of the National Afterschool Association and a proud partner of Active Schools.


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