Top 10 Fun Stretching Exercises for Kids

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Basic stretching exercises for kids are activities designed to help them improve their flexibility, coordination and range of motion.

Kids can be incorporated into a regular workout routine to enhance their overall physical health and fitness. Therefore, it is essential for parents to teach kids some fun and simple stretches to support their development.

Through this blog, we will break down all the basic stretching exercises for kids and answer all your questions about fun and simple stretching exercises for kids. Let’s get started!

The Most Effective Simple Stretching Exercises for Kids

During childhood, practicing the right stretches for kids is essential for them to get more active and fit. Yet, kids need to exercise with age-appropriate, safe, and fun stretching exercises so that they keep interested and engaged to conduct them regularly.

Here are the most beneficial warm up stretching exercises for kids of all ages.

1. Downward Dog

Downward dog is an easy stretching leg exercise for kids. It is great for improving flexibility in the shoulders, upper back, and leg muscles. Also, it is among the best yoga poses for kids and the most beneficial stretching exercises for kids to regulate coordination and posture.

How to do it:

  • Start off on all fours and make sure your knees are slightly behind your hips.
  • Keep your hands shoulder-width apart and spread your fingers out wide.
  • Press your hands gently into the mat and tuck your toes under.
  • Take a deep inhale and exhale.
  • Lift your knees off the floor, keep your leg straight and strengthen as much as possible to create an inverted “V” shape.
  • Hold this position for 30 seconds to one minute, then release and repeat as desired.

2. MentalUP Fitness

All kids enjoy exercising with online sources. As a physical and mental education app trusted by 10 million users, MentalUP is one of the best resources to support your kid's mental and physical development without cutting them off from technology.

The MentalUP fitness module includes 240+ exercises in balance, stretching, strength, cardio, and fun gymnastic categories. With its user-friendly layout, it provides your kid with age-appropriate and safe exercises and enables you to follow their progress with interactive dashboards.

How to start exercising with MentalUP:

  • Go to Google Play or App Store.
  • Download the MentalUP app.
  • Open the app on a PC, tablet, or smartphone.
  • Take the test to discover exercises that suit your fitness level, age, and interest.
  • Choose your character, dress it up, and be ready to exercise with the daily workout plan based on your level. Or decide between 5 different exercise categories to customize your plan.

As one of the most trusted learning apps worldwide, MentalUP offers a no-ad safe learning environment in which your kids can practice their cognitive and physical skills. 🌍 ✌

You can start to use the MentalUP app right now to expand your kid's potential and support their physical development with beneficial stretching exercises that they can conduct both indoors and outdoors. 😇 🎈

Additionally, it allows them to have fun with gamified exercises and games while expanding their skills. Don’t forget that MentalUP helps your kids to be more successful both in their daily lives and classes. 🌈


3. Child’s Pose

Child’s pose is one of the most effective breathing and stretching exercises besides being physical brain breaks for kids. It gives kids a full-body stretch and helps them relax by reducing their stress and calming their muscles.

How to do it:

  • Kneel down with knees spread apart and toes touching each other.
  • Bend forward to the floor and keep your forehead on the mat.
  • Stretch your arms forward with the palms extended in front of the head.
  • Move the lower half of your body such that the buttocks touch the heels.
  • Inhale and exhale slowly.
  • Hold the stretch for about 30 seconds.
  • Return to the original position.

4.Bow Pose

If you are googling “stretching exercises for the back for kids,” a bow pose might be what you are looking for. The pose is great for improving spine flexibility and reducing strains in the neck and back. When you wonder how to improve balance and be flexible at the same time, you can use this pose.

How to do it:

  • Lie on your belly with the head towards one side and hands alongside the body.
  • Turn the head to touch the floor with the chin.
  • Exhale, fold your knees, and grab the right ankle with the right hand and the left ankle with the left hand.
  • Inhale, slowly lift the chest, and raise the knees while continuing to hold the ankles with your hands.
  • Exhale and slowly lower chest and feet.
  • Hold the stretch for 10 to 15 seconds.
  • Return to the original position.

5. Cobra Pose

This lying down yoga position can be performed as a beginner-level stretching exercise to strengthen the back muscles, as well as the arms and legs. Also, it is good for relieving backache and increasing hunger.

How to do it:

  • Lie on your stomach on your yoga mat with your legs extended behind you.
  • Keep your palms flat on the mat by your ribcage.
  • Press down into your palms and lift your chest and head off the mat as you inhale and use the strength of your back muscles.
  • Keep your shoulders down and away from your ears, and gaze forward or slightly upward.
  • Hold the pose for a few breaths, then slowly release and lower your chest and head back down to the mat.

6. Seated Toe Touch

This is one of the most effective stretching leg exercises for kids. By releasing the hamstring tension, flexing the spine, and improving the motion of the hips, the seated toe touch gives a good hamstring stretch.

How to do it:

  • Start by sitting on the floor with legs straight forward and feet next to one another.
  • Slowly bend forward and touch your toes.
  • Hold the position for 10-30 seconds and return to the original position.
  • If you find it too challenging, try to conduct the exercise while sitting in a chair with legs slightly bent.

7. Cat-Cow Stretch

This simple but effective stretching exercise can help kids warm up their spine and improve the flexibility of the back and hip muscles. It is a great transition exercise to perform between heavy workouts or different sports.

How to do it:

  • Start in the tabletop position with your wrists under your shoulders and knees under your hips.
  • Drop your belly toward the mat and lift your head and tailbone as you inhale to an arch in your back. This is the cow pose.
  • As you exhale, round your spine up toward the ceiling and tuck your chin to your chest, bringing your tailbone and head toward each other. This is the cat pose.
  • Continue to alternate between cow and cat pose for 15 to 30 seconds, moving with your breath and allowing your spine to move freely.

Our stretching exercises list is about to finish. If these exercises aren’t enough for you, you can always find out more by using the multi-awarded educational games app MentalUP. It offers lots of workouts for kids, PE games, or outdoor activities for kids. 🏆

Also, you can develop both your and your kids’ cognitive skills with MentalUP’s fun memory, attention, and math games. Don’t forget to continue improving and expanding your horizon after your kids complete these stretching exercises. 🎉


8. Crossbody Shoulder Stretch

This exercise is easy but effective and can be a valuable addition to any fitness or wellness routine. It stretches the shoulders and upper back muscles, improves posture, and relieves tension and stiffness.

How to do it:

  • Stand straight up and keep your feet at a normal distance from one another.
  • Raise your right arm and move it towards the left across your chest.
  • With the left hand, push the right elbow to make the right arm stretch.
  • Hold this position for 10 to 15 seconds.
  • When you are finished, repeat the same steps with the other arm.

9. Butterfly Stretch

The butterfly pose is one of the most effective stretching leg exercises for kids as it strengthens the muscles in the inner thighs and hips. Also, it improves the flexibility in lower muscles, reduces stress and tension, and enhances athletic performance by stretching the hip flexors.

How to do it:

  • Sit on the floor, keep your back straight, and bend your legs in front of you.
  • Bring the soles of your feet together.
  • Push down your knees to the sides.
  • Rest your hands on your feet or ankles and use your elbows to gently press your knees towards the floor.
  • Hold for 25 to 30 seconds.
  • Return to the starting position gently and repeat as you wish.

10. Camel Pose

This exercise is great for stretching the muscles in the front and back of the body, such as the chest, abdomen, quadriceps, glutes, and hamstrings. Additionally, it is beneficial for relieving constipation as it supports the stimulation of the digestive system.

How to do it:

  • Come onto your knees, place them hip-width apart, and then tuck your toes.
  • Draw your lower belly in and up, and roll your shoulders back.
  • Lengthen through both sides of the waist, and lift the chest up,
  • Keep the lower body stable, exhale and start to come into your backbend, keeping the chest lifted without crunching the neck or lower back.
  • As you lean back, find your blocks or heels with your hands
  • Keep your inner thighs engaged and your shoulder blades firm into the back and wait for a couple of seconds.
  • Come back up as you inhale, then sit on your heels with a neutral spine for a moment.
  • Keep the position for 30 seconds to 1 minute, and then turn back to the starting position.

Benefits of Stretching for Children

Stretching has numerous benefits for kids, from helping them relieve stress and supporting their circulatory system to preventing injuries and improving circulation. Let’s take a closer look at how a good stretch contributes to kids' development.

1. Increases Flexibility

Flexibility can be described as the range of motion of a joint, or group of joints, in the human body. As stretching improves the range of motion, it helps kids get flexible both temporarily and permanently.

To gain permanent flexibility and muscle strength, it’s imperative to practice effective breathing and stretching exercises for kids. For long-lasting results, it is best to stretch diligently about five to six days a week.

2. Improves Attention Span

According to research, a daily physical activity routine with stretching exercises boosts kids' ability to pay attention by enhancing the brain’s ability to ignore distractions, triggering endorphins, and improving mindfulness.

Therefore, stretching exercises are highly beneficial for kids to achieve mental and physical developmental milestones. Basic stretching exercises for kids, like child's pose, toe touches, and butterfly stretch, can help kids improve their concentration skills easily. Yet, for holistic cognitive development, kids need to practice with fun and beneficial games and activities.

The MentalUP app includes 150+ brain games and activities enabling kids to improve their attention span along with other essential cognitive skills, like memory, creativity, analytical thinking, and visual intelligence. 💪

MentlUP can be used on any tablet, PC, or computer and provides your kid with a safe learning environment that includes no ads or inappropriate content. 💻 📱

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3. Provides Relief

Stretching creates a calming effect on the body and mind, reduces stress, and improves stress management skills. All these positive effects of stretching add up to helping kids relieve and manage challenging situations more easily.

The warm-up stretching exercises for kids, like a cat-cow stretch, bow pose, or cobra pose, are especially helpful for kids in relieving stress and feeling better because they increase blood flow and accelerate the release of endorphins.

4. Enhances Circulation

During stretching, the body temperature increases, sending oxygen and nutrients to the working muscles. This process increases blood circulation and allows natural muscular contractions and relaxations.

A regular stretching routine, including dynamic and static stretches, like camel pose, downward dog, and butterfly stretch, can be great for supporting body functions as well as blood circulation.

5. Prevents Injury

Stretching exercises increase the flexibility and range of motion in the joints. Therefore, it enables kids to move easily and reduces the risk of straining or tearing a muscle. Additionally, as it improves posture and balance, it prevents falls and other injuries.

All stretching exercises for kids can be beneficial for kids to learn how to use their muscles to avoid getting injured. Yet, it is best to diversify their stretching routine with dynamic and static exercises, like crossbody shoulder, toe touches, downward dog, and camel pose.

Safety Measures to Follow While Stretching

  • Stretching cold muscles might cause injuries. Therefore, warm up with light walking, jogging, or biking at low intensity for 5 to 10 minutes before stretching.
  • Focus on having equal flexibility on each side.
  • Practice stretching major muscle groups, such as calves, thighs, hips, lower back, neck, and shoulders.
  • Try to perform stretching exercises without bouncing.
  • Keep in mind to inhale and exhale in the right way while stretching.
  • Hold the stretch until you feel muscle tension. If you feel pain in your muscles, gently return to a point where you don’t feel any pain.
  • Pay attention to your posture and form.
  • Practice regularly with stretching exercises two or three times a week.

Frequently Asked Questions

At what age do kids stop being flexible?

During the early childhood years, kids remain highly flexible as muscles are generally more supple and still developing. However, flexibility starts to decline gradually at age 10 and continues as bones, tissues, and muscles become more mature.

How can I explain stretching to my child?

You can explain stretching to your kid as a physical activity that will enable them to move easier, perform daily activities or exercises better, and improve their athletic performance. Also, you can say that stretching will help them feel better.

Is it normal for a child not to be flexible?

The flexibility of humans changes according to body composition, amount of exercise, and muscles. Still, kids become temporarily less flexible during puberty. So, between those ages, it is normal.

What is the best time to stretch for kids?

Stretching exercises can be performed anytime during the day as long as the muscles are warmed up with a light exercise. Also, kids should stretch before or after any workout.

What are the stretching games and activities for children?

Games and activities that get kids active and accelerate blood circulation are great alternatives to give kids a good stretch. These activities include games like mirroring, donkey tails, red light-green light, Simon says, hokey-pokey, and tag.

So it is clear that stretching is an important part of daily physical activity. It is essential for both physical and mental development, preparing kids' bodies for exercise and sports and boosting their confidence. Yet, focusing only on stretching is not enough for a kid to stay healthy and improve cognitive skills.

The certified app MentalUP provides kids of all ages with 240+ fitness exercises and 150+ learning games to support both their mental and physical development by expanding their potential. 🚀

From brain games to puzzles and daily workouts to gymnastic games, MentalUP is here with a wide range of content to improve your kid's intelligence and support their academic success anytime, anywhere! 🎓

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Also, it has lots of content that is appropriate for people of all ages. Don’t waste any time, and start to boost right now! 👪