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What kinds of activities should kids do?

Incorporate aerobic, muscle-strengthening and bone-strengthening activities into your routine.

We encourage you and your family to play every day – children and youth should do 60 minutes or more of physical activity every day for good health. What should that play look like? Does it matter if your kids do the same type of activity every day?

To grow fit and strong, healthy kids need to do an assortment of activities. Children should participate in physical activities that are appropriate for their age and ability, that are enjoyable, and that offer variety.
Incorporate aerobic, muscle-strengthening and bone-strengthening activities into your routine. Some activities can fit into more than one type of category. Mix and match so youth get each type of activity at least three days a week. Learn more in the physical activity guidelines for Americans and the youth fact sheet on physical activity guidelines.


Types of Physical Activity and Examples of Activities

  • Moderate–intensity aerobic (allows you to talk, but not sing, while being active):
    • Active recreation, such as hiking, skateboarding, and rollerblading
    • Bicycle riding
    • Brisk walking
    • Dancing
  • Vigorous–intensity aerobic (allows you to say only a few words without catching your breath)
    • Active games involving running and chasing, such as tag
    • Martial arts
    • Running
    • Sports, such as skiing, skating, soccer, swimming, and tennis
  • Muscle-strengthening
    • Games such as tug-of-war
    • Swinging on playground equipment/bars
    • Sit-ups (curl-ups or crunches) and push-ups or modified push-ups (with knees on floor)
    • Resistance exercises using body weight or resistance bands
    • Swinging on playground equipment/bars
  • Bone-strengthening
    • Games, such as hopscotch
    • Skipping
    • Jumping rope
    • Running, so a game of tag or sports such as soccer and basketball