An Animal-Themed Workout For Kids

By Whitney Otstott – August 1, 2022
Whitney Otstott

Encouraging kids to stay active through the hot summer months might sound as much fun to them as summer school, but what if they were prowling through the jungle instead? Jumping into a pond? Waddling across a frozen tundra? A workout for kids can exercise the imagination as well as the body! 

This animal-themed workout for kids is fun and packed with functional movement. They won’t even realize they’re working out! And bonus, teaching kids early that exercise is fun sets them up for long-term success. 

This workout can be formatted in any number of ways based on your timeframe and the attention span of the kids. A simple format idea is 45 seconds of work and 15 seconds of rest for each exercise. Complete the entire set twice and that’s 24 minutes of exercise. You can also do a Tabata-style workout, with 20 seconds of work and 10 seconds of rest for eight rounds. For this format, I like to alternate two exercises during each Tabata round. Whatever the format you choose, have fun, be silly and get moving! Adult participation is encouraged!

Bear Crawls

Keep your knees low and shoulders over your hands! You’re on the prowl and must tread lightly so you can sneak up on your prey.

Flamingo Balance

The silly flamingo is always standing on one leg. Hold your core tight to help with balance. If the flamingo had arms, what do you think he’d do with them?

Dead Bug

Oh no, you’re a squashed bug! Press your core into the floor and alternate stretching out either arm and leg.


Inchworms don’t go very fast as they inch along, up and down. Try to keep your knees straight!

Bunny Hops

Pretend you’re in a field and having a bunny race with your friends. Who will win? Hop with your feet together!

Bird Dog

A bird dog points to let its handler know where to find the bird. Keep your balance as you stretch out one arm and leg on opposing sides.

Frog Jump

Frogs beat the heat by jumping into the nice cool water. Pretend you’re a frog and see how high you can jump!

Donkey Kicks

Don’t stand behind a donkey or you might get kicked! Keep your knee up high and kick back with your heel

Starfish Jump

Do starfish really jump? Probably not but who knows? They’re in the ocean, after all! Do your best impression of a starfish with a big jump!

Flying Bird

Pretend you’re a bird soaring high above the ground and looking at everyone down below. Your leg is out straight behind you and you’re “flying” with your arms.

Crab Walk

You may have seen crabs at the beach and they always walk so funnily! Lift your hips and walk backward like a crab.


Ever wonder why penguins waddle? Maybe their feet get cold on the ice! Waddle around with your best penguin impression!


About the Author

Whitney smiling.

Whitney Otstott is the owner of GirlPower Fitness, a private fitness studio in southwest Austin that’s just for women. Whitney has been in the fitness industry for more than 25 years, teaching numerous group fitness formats and offering personal training in a way that helps women get stronger and healthier in a nurturing and empowering environment. Learn more at


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