The Playground Workout Moms and Kids Can Do Together

family at a playground

Hey, moms! If your favorite piece of playground equipment is the bench under the tree, this one’s for you. The awesome parenting trick I’m about to pass on will not only help you make better use of your time at the park but it’s also guaranteed to improve the park-going (and park-leaving) experience for the whole family. It’s a little game we call “10 Things,” and it’s downright genius.


I learned this from a friend of mine who found that creating a feeling of closure and routine helped her daughter actually cooperate when it was time to leave the playground (instead of pitching an enormous fit because she didn’t want to goooooo). The gist is that you make up an obstacle course of 10 activities for your child to complete immediately before leaving the playground (e.g., 1. Run under all the slides, 2. Hop around the play structure on one foot, 3. Cross the monkey bars while humming a tune, etc.,), but with just a little bit of tweaking, it’s easy to turn this kids’ game into a sneaky little workout for yourself too.

Try this: Instead of just dictating the 10 things to your child, join in and do them yourself! Alternate who gets to choose the next task (beware, as this will mostly likely mean wedging your adult-sized butt down a kid-sized slide), and think about increasing the number of activities from 10 to 20 or 30, or doing a set at both the beginning and end of your visit. Get creative with the playground equipment, and work in some tough power moves like pushups and lunges to get the most benefit for your effort. And don’t be afraid to get silly. Close out the session with a trip to the water fountain and a post-workout goodie (a bag of Gluten Free Chex Granola Mix is easy to take pretty much everywhere), and then pat yourself on the back for modeling healthy choices for your kids.

This is a great trick for motivating both inactive moms and inactive kids (I’m looking at you, sandbox sitters), and come on, what kid doesn’t love it when a parent gets involved in their play instead of merely watching from the sidelines. Who knew 10 little things could do so much good?

How do you stay active and fit with your family?

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