Fun Physical Activities for Children = Homeschool Phys Ed

Remember, I confessed that I didn’t do any formal physical education with my children last year?

Well this year I decided to put a few plans and ideas in place.  I consulted my Fun & Games with Smile book and laid out a few activities focusing on

bean bags

& skipping ropes

My Games Chart has the following:

  • suggested activities, games and skills for throwing, catching, aiming & throwing bean bags
    Jump ropes

    Image by RambergMedia Images via Flickr

  • 14 Bean Bag games for groups
  • Learning to skip in easy steps and stages
  • Variations of skipping
  • Skipping rope activities, games and skills
  • Skipping with a partner
  • Skipping using a long rope with 3 or more friends
  • 12 skipping songs

For your free download click here ~ Games Chart

Each week we  will do some activities and build up our skills as we practice.

I want to keep it SHORT, Simple and FUN!

I found these great suggestions as I researched homeschool physical education programs:

Designing Your Homeschool P.E. Program via Homeschool Physical Education.

Getting Started

When adding P.E. to your home school program, start small and slowly build up to your full routine. Create a lifestyle of fitness by replacing 30 minutes of sedentary activity with a walk or bike ride. Do a few sit ups, push ups or jumping jacks in between academic subjects. Instead of lounging around after dinner, go out in the back yard and play catch or a game of tag.

Begin with activities that are suited to your child’s strengths, then gradually add variety to your routine and increase the level of difficulty. Help your children set goals for distance, endurance or skill development that are slightly challenging, but not overwhelming. Reward your children for reaching those goals.

Here are some simple, inexpensive ways to homeschool P.E.

  1. Stock your home with inexpensive athletic equipment like balls, jump ropes, hula hoops and Frisbees.
    Bicycle & Jogger with child ride along the bik...

    Image by pugetsoundphotowalks via Flickr

  2. Walking is suitable for children of all ages and fitness levels, and best of all – it’s free!
  3. Skateboarding, roller skating, roller blading and bike riding are fun activities that can really get the heart pumping. Make sure your children wear helmets, elbow pads and knee pads, and follow other safety precautions when using wheeled equipment.
  4. Parks provide ready-made cardiovascular and strength building opportunities for students of all ages. Ladders, slides, swings, and monkey bars promote gross motor development. If your children aren’t moving fast enough to get their hearts pumping, challenge them to a game of hide and seek or freeze tag.
  5. When the weather interferes with your plans for homeschool physical education, you can still dance, play a workout video or jump on a mini trampoline indoors.
  6. If you have an indoor pool within driving distance, swimming can be a great year round activity.
  7. Delegate your coaching duties and follow your children’s interests by signing them up for dance, gymnastics, karate, swimming or other private lessons.
  8. You can find sports programs at recreation centers, YMCAs, homeschool sports leagues and churches.
  9. If there is not a program available in your area, grab a few friends and start one.
  10. If you have forgotten all the rules to your favorite P.E. games, see if your library has a copy of The Ultimate Home School Physical Education Game Book by Guy Bailey.
99 Tips for Family Fitness Fun: The Great Outdoors….  suggests these fun physical outdoor activities ~
  • Rake leaves…then jump in them!
  • Shovel snow…build a snow sculpture; make snow angels; build a snow house.
  • Dig and plant in the garden…help everyone plant their own vegetables, fruits and flowers.
  • Chop and stack wood…end with a campfire and sing-a-long.
    Three high school girls, as part of a larger g...

    Image by mikebaird via FlickrCross country ski around town and into the woods.

  • Take a long walk or jog on the beach.
  • Use a compass to map out a course – then set out on a walk, jog, or bike hike.
  • Canoe or raft for an entire afternoon.
  • Ice skate for a great winter workout.
  • Skiing always gives the family a lift.
  • Jump into water sports – enjoy water walking and aerobics.
  • Play mixed-age water volleyball.
  • Visit outdoor education centers.
  • Take a nature hike.
  • Go up, up and away with a kite flying day.
  • Go to a driving range or enjoy a game of miniature golf.
  • Go camping where you can pitch a tent, gather firewood, fish, bike, and walk.
  • Visit farms throughout the year where you can pick your own strawberries, peaches, and apples.
  • Plan cycling trips on safe trails by calling your local bike shop or bike club.
  • Tumbling – Basic gymnastics can be done on a blanket or yoga mat.
  • DVDs – There are many children’s exercise DVDs available.
  • Mini weights sets from garage sale, or made from plastic milk jugs and water or sand. Go gently on weights with younger children, since they are more easily injured.
  • Backyard games – soccer, kickball, croquet, Frisbee, softball, etc. Make friends with some neighborhood kids and play with a yard full.
  • Gardening – Have fun, get exercise, spend time outdoors, and save money at the same time!
  • Other yard chores – Mowing, shoveling snow, raking leaves, planting trees and so on. Check local media for dates of park clean-ups for a community service project.
  • Outside pretend play – Build a treehouse (great use of math and measuring skills!), make a cornstalk teepee after you’ve harvested your luscious ears in your garden, build a snow castle or fort.
  • Get moving – Walking, biking, skating, swimming, Volksmarches or geocaching.
And Successful gives this advice about Exercise Electronics

Image by courosa via Flickr

  • Wii Fit – This fun, varied game encourages your kids to get up and get moving. It has a variety of activities to develop strength, balance, aerobic fitness and flexibility. Each child may have his own account, but it’s fun to play together also, though only one person will have her scores recorded.
  • Dance, Dance Revolution – This fun, fast-paced game can be used for children from toddlerhood to teens. There’s even a Disney version for little ones.

If one of your children is having trouble paying attention, try having frequent “wiggle breaks” to get some of the excess energy out of his system. Just set a timer for ten minutes and dance, exercise or run. Your school day will be all the more peaceful for it!

As I look at these ideas and activities,  I realize that we have every reason to be active!

It doesn’t have to be formal lessons, standardized or regulated, but it should be planned and included in the family’s lifestyle.

Blessings as you jump for joy!

Confessions ~ I didn’t do it all!

It may seem that all my plans were fulfilled …

that I could do everything that I set out to do …

But I didn’t.

I couldn’t.

I never will.


Many plans stayed just that – lovely, good ideas on my pages.

Life is lived and plans make way.

Important things take precedence over those things that scream “Urgent!”

And not everything is urgent. Not really.

So, what got left out this year?

Physical Education

We did not do a single formal lesson.  Not one all year.

But my kids were active:

They did obstacle courses and played soccer with other homeschoolers,

They often swam in the dam,  and ran after sheep,

and climbed our mountain (a real mountain!)

They rode their bikes and scooters and skipped.

But I had planned some ball skills lessons, tennis, ballet lessons. Daily brain gym activities faded within weeks.

We live too far for outside coaching and what I can’t do, does not happen.

… oh, well …

Maybe next year?

I’ll add physical education to my planning pages and schedule it for an easier day, and make sure that the time spent is fun.  Short and sweet.  Maybe then we’ll get it done.

(Just an encouraging note:)

Please do not be intimidated by my plans or my posts.

I cannot do it all.

I have fears.

I often fail.

I have many insecurities.

My darling husband often listens to my cares and worries.  He has wiped away many a tear.

And my prayer journal is peppered with pleas and confessions.

The Lord constantly teaches and guides me.  And sometimes I hear Him and obey.  Other times, I miss the moment.  I botch things up.

My children are not always compliant.  They have their own issues and struggles.  We have our bad days.

But, we confess.


Begin again in the new day.

Just be faithful to do what the Lord has shown you to do now.  Don’t look too far ahead.

He leads us steadfastly and all we need to do is to trust and obey.

Blessings In Him,