Unlike adults, kids don’t have to pencil exercise into their schedules. Their lives are ongoing athletic events. Running laps around the house, bouncing in place for no reason at all, wrestling siblings, and climbing playground equipment. Of course, there are also all of the extra activities like dance, soccer, and swimming lessons, too.
Kids’ energy banks are usually overflowing, so they’re always looking for ways to use it. Make spending that energy even more intentional by taking out your Smol bounce house and hosting a mini aerobics class. Free jumping is a fantastic way to spend energy, but you can maximize that exercise time with some fun games and moves that engage even more muscle groups and challenge those growing bodies.
The health benefits are extensive! Just 10 minutes of jumping can:
- Improve your child’s bone density.
- Use and strengthen more than 14 muscles.
- Improve coordination and balance.
- Regulate mood and help your child feel happier.
- Increase overall energy levels.
- Improve sleep quality and patterns.
- Help your child’s brain perform at its best.
- Improve blood flow throughout the body.
We also love that jumping in a bounce house is a low impact movement, which means it’s gentle on little joints. You also get the added resistance of jumping on a soft surface. Lastly, jumping offers all the benefits of other cardio exercises, but achieves the same effects in less time.
Help your kids achieve all of these benefits (and have so much fun) by leading them in exercises that don’t feel like exercise at all!
Inflate your Smol bounce house following the instructions and make sure your littles are wearing comfortable clothing that doesn’t restrict their range of motion. Before jumping into your workout, crank up this Spotify list we made just for these types of occasions and make sure water is nearby.
Once your kids are situated, begin with a few stretches to get warmed up. Tell your kids to bend down and touch their toes, lean forward in a butterfly position on the ground, and to reach for their toes while they’re in a straddle.
Run in Place
10 seconds x 3
Start with an easy win. Tell your kids to pretend like they’re running without moving at all. They might think this is a little silly, but getting their knees up high will engage their cores while increasing blood flow to their fast-moving legs and arms. The extra resistance of the squishy bounce house will engage muscles even more.
Jumping Jacks & Star Jumps
5 each x 3
Jumping jacks can be a little tricky depending on your kids’ ages, but roll with it! In addition to being a great cardio workout, jumping jacks offer a great opportunity to improve coordination. Show your kids how to do a proper jumping jack and then count five jumping jacks with them. Then switch to star jumps.
To do a star jump, simply jump straight into the air and make your body looks like an “x” with your arms lifted up, hands pointing to the sky, at diagonals from your body. Legs are pointing down at diagonals. After each jump, land back on two feet before jumping again.
Repeat five jumping jacks, followed by five star jumps, three times each.
Frog Jumps & Twist Jumps
5 each x 3
These might get a little silly–and that’s OK! Start your frog jump in a crouched position with your feet on the floor and your little froggy hands on the floor by your feet. Your knees should be bent, pointing upward, close to your shoulders.
Once your kids are in the right position, show them how to explode up in a big frog jump. After making that big jump, they should land right back in the same frog position. These will light up all of the muscles in your legs and core.
After completing five frog jumps, you’ll move on to twist jumps. Challenge your kids to jump in the air while trying to turn their bodies in a circle, like a corkscrew. You might get a few tumbles here, but the motion engages the obliques and encourages your kids’ to practice balance.
Repeat five frog jumps, followed by five twist jumps, three times each.
Seat drops & Somersaults
3 each x 3
Your kids are probably already seat drop and somersault professionals, so they’ll love this part! Start this next set with a big seat drop. Encourage your kids to jump as high as they can before sitting down. They’ll engage their cores when they lift their legs into that sitting position. Then, they’ll engage their legs as they go from sitting back to standing. This movement requires more muscles than you may realize!
The same is true for somersaults. When your kids are doing somersaults, make sure they are far enough away from others so no one gets hurt. Depending on the size of your bounce house, you may want to help your kids go one at a time. If your kids are new to somersaults, this is a great opportunity to learn on a safe, comfortable surface.
Repeat three seat drops, followed by three somersaults, three times each.
Everyone loves Simon Says, but in this version, Simon encourages big movements vs. small. Instead of “Simon says touch your nose,” say, “Simon says touch your toes.” Instead of “Simon says clap,” say “Simon says dance!”
Give everyone a turn to be Simon, but try to play at least three times to get as many big movements in as you can.
Ring Around the Rosie
Complete your high-energy bounce house session with a game that ends in everyone falling over!
Tell your kids to join hands and move their feet so they begin to spin in a circle together. Help them sing the “Ring Around the Rosie” song. Each time you sing the song, try singing a little faster and moving a little faster.
By the end of a few rounds of this song, we hope to hear plenty of deep breathing and maybe even a little relief to have fallen over.
Adjust this list according to your kids’ ages. While five reps may be great for preschool-aged kids, you may want to increase to 10 for early elementary school ages. Feel it out with your kids as you go along to know what’s right for them.
Have so much fun getting those little hearts thumping and remember to replenish afterward with plenty of water and a nutritious snack! We have a feeling that after all of this fun, your kids will sleep soundly. They’ll also probably want to bounce house workouts again and again.