Games and Exercises to Strengthen Your Kids' Arms

Strengthening the arms and the upper body is very important in a child's development. In this article, we take a look at some ideas that will help you strengthen your kids' arms!
Games and Exercises to Strengthen Your Kids' Arms

Last update: 16 July, 2021

Exercise is essential for a child’s physical developmentFor them, the best option is through games, in any form. In this article, we focus on a series of movements that help to strengthen your kids’ arms.

This is important to ensure a harmonious whole-body development. It’s important because we tend to pay a lot of attention to the lower body. In fact, when babies stop crawling, this area usually gets less attention.

Additionally, another reason why it’s important for children to develop their upper body is related to the development of stability in their shoulders and their shoulder girdle. This is fundamental for a child to grow up with good posture and develop fine motor skills and writing.

The strength of a child’s upper body, including the stability of their shoulders, should develop through exposure to a wide range of gross motor activities.

Games to play in the park to develop your kids’ arms

In children’s parks, there are many opportunities for children to strengthen their arms. There, children usually have the opportunity to hang, climb, pull and push, through a wide range of options. This includes monkey bars, ropes, and nets.

Allowing your child free reign in the park gives them the opportunity to explore different movements and experiment time after time. Also, it allows them to relate to other little ones, improvise games or simply learn from others.

Parks offer another series of psychomotor options for children, like the lower body, balance, and learning space-time coordination, among others.

children playing tug of war having fun
Team games in parks and open spaces help children to learn social skills, in addition to developing their physical capacity.

Throwing or hitting games to strengthen kids’ arms

Throwing is a type of physical activity that doesn’t only help to strengthen a child’s arms, but also their whole upper body. This way, any game or sport that requires throwing something or hitting a moving object with their hand helps to develop and tone this area.

In this category, we have ball games in which the child can throw or hit the ball with their hands or a racket.

You can adapt these kinds of games to the age of the child and their circumstances. Simple activities like throwing rocks into a river give the arms a good workout.

However, in these games, it can be fun to challenge the child to use both arms. In the case of throwing rocks into a river, it’s likely that they’ll use their dominant hand, which can cause some kind of muscular inequality over the medium or long term.

Games you can play at home to strengthen your kids’ arms

You can also play many games and activities that will help children strengthen their arms and upper body at home.

Some ideas of such games and activities kids can do at home to develop their strength are the following:

  • Moving in the hallway, lying face down, using their arms: With a little creativity, you can create races or play hide and seek. Also, you can explore different movement possibilities; supporting the hips, raising the hips, with straight legs, or with bent legs.
  • Throwing or hitting at ground level: You can do these kinds of games on your feet, lying down, sitting, or in any position you want. The aim is to control the movement of the ball (or whatever you’re using) so that it stays at ground level.
  • Domestic chores: You can get the kids to help with the chores while they work on their arms, inventing games where they have to move things of various weights. For example, they can help to empty bookshelves, lift or put down objects, or move them somewhere else. They can also help move the shopping!
Mother and child at a play area with the child climbing
It’s common for children in their first years of life to focus on their lower body but later look at stimulating their arms.

Free play and strengthening the arms at the early stages

It’s well known that sports such as basketball, handball, tennis, or padel ball help, among other things, to strengthen the upper body. However, there are other options that concentrate more on the arms, shoulders, and back.

Archery, climbing, or table tennis are also very useful for strengthening the arms and, in general, the whole of the upper body.

It’s very common for adults to insist that their children do guided exercises, and structured games, etc. But what helps a child’s physical development more than anything else is having the opportunity to run wild in environments where there’s a chance to exercise.

The countryside and parks offer infinite possibilities for children. But, you should also give them the opportunity to do whatever exercise they want to do.

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  • Chavez Diego, Erika Avalos, and Rocio Valdivia Fierro. “Ejercicios motrices en el desarrollo de la coordinación óculo manual de los niños y niñas de 4 y 5 años en la Institución Educativa Inicial N° 568 Pucarumi.” (2015).