As moms, you know all about being creative in the moment – I Spy becomes the long line boredom crusher and veggies are not gross, inedible items but intergalactic space food that can help your child be an amazing astronaut. And making sure you’re able to exercise in the middle of your busy schedule requires creativity, too.
To have best results, you know you’ll need to keep your kids preoccupied while you spend time in your home gym. Instead of plopping the kids in front of the TV or iPad, encourage them to workout with you with homemade fitness equipment. With these ideas, you’ll be able to get your workout in and have fun with your kids.
Just because we’re stuck at home, that doesn’t mean your kids have to miss out on ballet class or you have to skip your barre exercises. By building a single or double ballet barre out of PVC piping (this type works the best), you can have a durable piece of gym equipment right at home. With this barre, you and your kids can practice ballet together. Alternatively, you could build two barres – one for you to use and one for your kids! Find the instructions for this fun ballet barre here.
Sometimes, the best ways to encourage kids to do something they don’t want to is by involving them in the prep work. Same as you would get a kid to eat their dinner by allowing them to help with the shopping and cooking, you can encourage your kids to move around by having them help make homemade gym equipment.
One piece of equipment they can help make is hand weights. Fill plastic bottles or milk jugs with beads, rice, or dried beans. To spice up the bottles, mix the weights with glitter or dye the rice before putting it into the containers. Once the weights are made, your kids can use their handmade weights to build their muscles while you spend time in your home gym.
Kids are sometimes like cats – they love climbing on things they shouldn’t and they like crawling through small spaces. Incorporate this into your workout and get your kids moving, too, with a few different homemade tunnels. All you need is a few unused cardboard boxes or large diameter PVC pipe. Strategically place these tunnels throughout your home or backyard and create an obstacle course.
Kids can compete with each other to see who can crawl through the tunnels the fastest. Mom, while they’re doing this, you can jog beside them as the referee. Carry and curl weights to work on your arms at the same time. Tunnels are a fun way to get your kids off the couch while giving you the opportunity to get your heart pumping.
Even if you’re not a CrossFit fanatic, you and your kids can enjoy a set (or two) of DIY parallettes. Mom, you can strengthen your arms, wrists, and core by doing dips and push-ups using these bars. Additionally, you could practice some lateral jumps over one of the bars for a cardio workout.
To get the kids involved, have them help make the bars. Maybe they can dry assemble their own parallettes (then you, Mom, will tighten the pieces together with PVC primer and cement). Perhaps they can choose the spray paint colors to use on the bars to make them uniquely theirs. We’re thinking Frozen colors and Spider-Man hues would be adorable for the kiddos.
While you workout on your bars, the kids can exercise with theirs! They can practice jumping over the bar or army-crawling under them (if the bars are tall enough – feel free to adjust the heigh of the kids’ bars for this purpose). They can also work on their arm strength just like Mom! These parallettes can be paired with the homemade tunnels for an even longer (and more fun) obstacle course.
To make parallettes for you and your kids, all you need is PVC piping, fittings, and the instructions from StayFitMom.
PVC Bowling Pins
Is there a more fun way to workout than disguising exercise as a game? We don’t think so! Get the whole family moving with this outdoor game. These adorable PVC bowling pins will have everyone giggling and racing for a turn. Follow these instructions for making your own bowling pins.
- 2” PVC Pipe
- (6) 2” PVC Caps
- (6) 2” PVC Reducer Couplings (with 3” bottoms)
- Miter saw
- Optional: Spray paint
Steps for DIY Bowling Pins
Step 1: Cut your PVC pipe into six 12 in. pieces using a miter saw.
Step 2: Spray paint your PVC pieces, if you desire. You can spray paint just the caps and the reducer couplings, leaving the 12 in. pipes white. Alternatively, you can spray paint all of the pieces. Use painter’s tape in the places you don’t want paint – this is great for creating stripes on your bowling pins!
Step 3: Assemble your bowling pins. Place the PVC caps onto the tops of the pipes. Then, add the reducer couplings to the bottom of the pipes. The 3” bottoms of the couplings will act as the base of the bowling pin.
Step 4: Decorate your bowling pins. If you’d like to make your bowling pins even more festive, allow your kids to decorate them with washi tape, glitter, or stickers.
Step 5: Place your bowling pins upright on a flat surface. This surface could be the driveway, sidewalk, or a wood board in your backyard.
Step 6: Grab a ball and start playing! You can use any kind of ball you have handy – just make sure it’s big enough to knock the pins over.
Workout and Have Fun with Your Kids
Let’s face it, trying to get a workout in at home with a bunch of kids under foot and getting into things they shouldn’t feels almost impossible. But, by involving kids in your workout routine, you can impart the value of exercise to your kids while getting your own heart pumping! Try one of these (or all five) homemade gym equipment for kids and moms. You will all have a blast building muscle strength together.