Boot Camp Ideas for Kids

Basic exercise gear can be used to put together a boot camp for kids.

Boot camps are short team programs designed to instill order and discipline. Demand that each exercise be done with excellence; make them repeat until the moves are done to the very best of their ability. Kids should also be encouraged to work together as a team, enforcing this aspect of boot camp to instill teamwork.

1 Obstacle Course

Set up an obstacle course using whatever supplies you have on hand. Challenge kids to jump through hula hoops, crawl through boxes and balance on planks of wood. Place obstacles that are age-appropriate but challenging. Include timed sprints, jumping jacks or army crawls, dragging your body with your forearms.

2 Drill Sargeant Says

Have everyone in the boot camp stand in formation, a straight line with shoulders back. Shout out commands and have everyone listen closely. Instruct them to only follow the order when you say, "Drill Sargeant Says," much like the game "Simon Says." Those who make a mistake have to drop and do five push-ups. Play several times to get the kids listening carefully. Rapid-fire instructions make the game more challenging.

3 Calisthenics

Lead the kids in a series of calisthenics. Provide a regular set of drills that are done the same time each day of the boot camp, if it is a several day event. Start with a warm up and then lead them in a series of jumping jacks, arm circles, up-downs, push-ups and sit-ups. Gradually add repetitions or challenge kids to see who can do the most of a particular exercise such as jumping jacks or push-ups.

4 Target Practice

Use water balloons or baseballs to throw at a target. Draw a bull's eye on a wall or piece of plywood or set up cans to knock over. Use nerf guns or powerful water guns to shoot at targets rather than throwing. Keep a record of how close each child comes to the target, or how many items they knock over. Use this information to see how much improvement is made over time.