Fit 4 Fun Challenge

by Chris Chapan

Sometimes trainers have an opportunity to train in unusual situations. I am a full time teacher as well as a personal trainer. I train my clients in an after school care program. Children love a challenge and the Fit 4 Fun Challenge is a great way to encourage children of various ages to develop and use their athletic abilities. Here is a following list of challenges that were given in the after school care program I conducted this past fall. They are a variation of the PE Central Challenge described in the home page of the PE Central.

Materials needed for the challenge:

  • Balls of various sizes
  • A racquet or paddle
  • Black or masking tape
  • Jump ropes
  • Hula Hoops

  1. Balance Da Beam

    Children practice their balancing skills by walking on a thirty-foot line without falling off. Completion of this challenge ensures them one point toward their fitness certificate. Children are using their leg muscles including their soleus and distal muscles.

  2. Doing the Hula Station

    Use the hula-hoop with the hoop starting around the waist, arm, or leg and remaining off the ground (floor) the entire time. Children of ages ten to nine need to use the hula-hoop for twenty seconds, students eight and seven years old for fifteen seconds, and students in first grade and below need to keep the hula-hoop off the floor for ten seconds. Children are using their rectus abdominis, obliques, erector spinae, and gluetus maximus. They are also using all their hip muscles of the abductors, adductors, and flexors.

  3. Rivet Roping Station

    A single rope must remain in a constant turning motion during the rivet roping. 90 seconds continuous motion must be maintained for pupils in fourth and fifth grade. Students that are in third grade need to do it for 70 seconds and second graders jump for 50 seconds. First, kindergarten and preschoolers keep this turning motion going for 30 seconds. The student may use forward, backward or hopping with one foot when jumping the rope. Students utilize the muscles of the hamstrings and quadriceps. They use all of the muscles of the calf including the soleus, tibialis anterior, and gastroncnemius.

  4. C and T ( Catch and Throwing ) Station

    Throw and catch an object with your hands with a fourth or fifth grade partner 30 times in a row without a miss from a distance of 25 feet. For each two grades lower, deduct 5 times from the original 30 until the preschooler does 10. Students use upper body muscles as well as learning cooperation and coordination with other different players. The partners must be sensitive to different kinds of throws and catches.

  5. Paddle Battle Project Station

    Strike a ball with a short or long-handled paddle or racket in the air continuously to yourself while remaining in a 3-4 foot diameter space. Students must do the challenge for 60 seconds in fourth and fifth grade. In third grade students try for 40 seconds, and students in first and second grade must keep the ball in the air for 30 seconds. Students must develop strength in their lateral, anterior, and posterior deltoids as well as their muscles in their back of the trapezius lower and middle fibers, the rhomboids, the subscapularis, and secondary the lower fibers of the trapezius.

In conclusion this is a workout that will bring challenge to any student that is looking to advance or heighten their skills. Other recommendations when working with groups of children is to give them lots of space to do their activities, a no teasing environment, and specific boundaries in which to practice their skills. Rules for conduct when doing the challenges or listening to the directions is necessary.

Microsoft templates have great ideas for making certificate completion templates. Also email me and I will send you templates of the ribbons and certificates I used for my challenge. This is a nice alternative to physical fitness testing because it requires no special equipment and children can easily practice their skills at home.

Christina Chapan is an ACE certified personal trainer, fitness author, education conference speaker and elementary school teacher. She also works in the after school care program at her school. In her spare time, she works as a youth sponsor at her church. If you are interested in learning more about Christina, please visit her websites:

Fit 4 Fun Kids Fitness and
Sebastian and Bugs Chapan Site

Workouts That Work
September 11, 2001