10 Fun Races to Get Kids Up & Running

10 Fun Races to Get Kids Up and Running

There’s nothing like a good foot race to get the blood pumping, but don’t be afraid to mix things up a bit. Variety is the spice of life! Not all races are about stop watches and starting boxes. If your children grow tired of plodding to the finish line, one foot in front of the other, try a couple of these 10 fun race variations:

10 Fun Races for Kids


    Bend your knees, sit on your heels, and waddle like a duck. Tucking your hands under your arms with your elbows out will help you keep your balance.


    Keep your legs straight and walk on your heels. The rule to remember? One foot must remain flat on the ground at all times.


    Hop, skip, or jump to the finish line — or do all three in turn. Be sure to demonstrate the desired step!


    Run backwards, but watch where you’re going! Short, quick steps are the secret for winning this one.


    Race on your hands and knees, like a baby. Best to be indoors on the carpet for this one. An added bonus: that cross-pattern crawling is good brain training for beginning readers.


    Put your feet in the bag and hop to the finish line. A pillowcase will work just as well as a potato sack, and are more readily available these days!

Of course, if you have enough runners, you can double the fun by dividing into teams and racing with a partner. Even Mom and Dad can get in on the action!

There are many fun ways to do this. Try one of the following ideas, and see how well you do:


    Have partners stand next to one another, then use a bandana or a piece of rope to tie their inside legs together at the knee. Once all the teams are joined, line up and race to the finish line.


    Line up, facing the same direction. The person in front does a handstand while his partner supports his legs by holding them under his arms in the crooks of his elbows. To race, the “wheelbarrow” walks on his hands while his teammate steers.


    Partners take turns squatting while the other jumps over, leapfrogging their way to the finish line. Alternatively, they can take turns standing with legs apart while the other crawls through. Or you can combine the two and do both!


    Partners must pin a ball between their heads or shoulders or hips, then hurry to the finish line without dropping the ball or touching it with their hands.

Are you interested in finding more fun ways to get fit as a family? Then check out my family-style olympic games post. Or — better yet — buy a copy of my book, Get Up & Go.

Get Up & Go: Fun Ideas for Getting Fit as a Family

10 Fun Races to Get Kids Up and Running

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  1. First memories that came flooding back was teaching gym with the double grade 1 and 2 class at a Christian School. Next flood of memories was the youth groups at church where we did fun active activities like this too. I absolutely loved the freedom and fun everyone had! Tucked further away in memory was the church picnics where all the generations did relay races and other such crazy fun! When I got to lead tweens at church we did indoor games too. Now I see my family back in my hometown, and the make -your-own-fun we would do in our driveway and sidewalks with bikes and balls and wagons and chalk and water!! My mom recently said on the phone that she had a happy childhood. I too can attest to a happy childhood. Can you tell?

    1. Yes, I can, Elsie! I did, too. My own fond memories was where I got the idea for this post in the first place. Kids who are constantly connected to a screen are really missing out on life, aren’t they?

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