Children’s literature has many notable options when it comes to exercise. To help you find the right books for you and your young reader, we’ve compiled a list of the best kids books about exercise.
Our list includes board books, picture books, and chapter books. Board books are best for babies and toddlers from ages newborn to 2 or 3. Picture books are generally great options for toddlers and for preschool and kindergarten age children. Picture books are especially enjoyable for adults to read aloud with young kids. The chapter books on our list are generally best for elementary through early middle school age tween kids. You can filter to sort by the best book type for your kid.
When it comes to children’s stories about exercise, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like I Went Walking to popular sellers like From Head to Toe Board Book to some of our favorite hidden gems like Henri’s Walk to Paris.
We hope this list of kids books about exercise can be a helpful resource for parents, teachers, and others searching for a new book! As you explore the list, please comment below to let us know what books you would add.
Harlem Grown: How One Big Idea Transformed a Neighborhood - “An inspiring picture book for youngsters with meaningful ties to the environment, sustainability, and community engagement.” —Booklist
“Hartland’s gouache illustrations wobble endearingly, colorfully capturing the children’s triumph, and the kinetic energy and colorful vibrancy of the city neighborhood.” —Publishers Weekly Discover the incredible true story of Harlem Grown, a lush garden in New York City that grew out of an abandoned lot and now feeds a neighborhood. Once
In a big city called New York
In a bustling neighborhood
There was an empty lot.
Nevaeh called it the haunted garden. Harlem Grown tells the inspiring true story of how one man made a big difference in a neighborhood. After seeing how restless they were and their lack of healthy food options, Tony Hillery invited students from an underfunded school to turn a vacant lot into a beautiful and functional farm. By getting their hands dirty, these kids turned an abandoned space into something beautiful and useful while learning about healthy, sustainable eating and collaboration. Five years later, the kids and their parents, with the support of the Harlem Grown staff, grow hundreds of pounds of fruits and vegetables a year. All of it is given to the kids and their families. The incredible story is vividly brought to life with Jessie Hartland’s “charmingly busy art” (Booklist) that readers will pore over in search of new details as they revisit this poignant and uplifting tale over and over again. Harlem Grown is an independent, not-for-profit organization. The author’s share of the proceeds from the sale of this book go directly to Harlem Grown.
ABC Yoga - Pairing simplified yoga poses with alphabetized animals and objects, ABC Yoga features colorful illustrations of children and animals practicing yoga along with playful rhymes to explain each movement. A fun family read, this interactive title is perfect for teaching toddlers their ABCs, as well as introducing them to familiar animals and basic, simplified yoga poses that promote health and well-being. Each letter of the alphabet is paired with an engaging illustration mimicking the various animals’ natural movements. Clever rhymes explain how toddlers (and their parents!) can copy the poses, each of which encourage movement, physical fitness, and mental health. The 26 yoga poses, one for each letter of the alphabet, are renamed for easy understanding, while an index at the end of the book identifies the correct name for each asana (yoga pose) for the adults. The engaging illustrations and playful rhymes encourage children and their parents to get up and move, promoting physical activity, learning, and togetherness.
Yoga Baby - In this photographic board book, a diverse group of babies show off yoga moves that come naturally to them.
The Three Little Yogis and the Wolf Who Lost His Breath: A Fairy Tale to Help You Feel Better - A calming spin on a classic fairy tale from #1 New York Times bestselling author Susan Verde Once upon a time there lived a wolf who lost his huff and his puff. It was a BIG, BAD problem! One morning, the wolf came upon a peaceful little yogi doing sun salutations. The wolf wanted to huff and puff and blooow her hut down into a big pile of straw. But instead the yogi suggested, “Let’s meditate on that!” Soon the wolf met a second yogi, and then a third. He may have lost his huff and puff—but with the help of three new yogi friends, can the wolf find his breath?
Mindful Me - Sometimes kids’ lives can get busy and out of control, and worries can take over. When that happens, knowing how to pause and regain composure with mindfulness can help! This easily digestible guide introduces kids to mindfulness as a way to find clarity, manage stress, handle difficult emotions, and navigate personal challenges. With step-by-step instructions to over thirty breathing, relaxation, and guided meditation exercises, readers will have an entire toolkit at their disposal and writing prompts will help them process their discoveries. Clearly written and incredibly relatable, this invaluable resource provides a positive introduction to the world of self-care and mindfulness.
I Am Yoga - An eagle soaring among the clouds, a star twinkling in the night sky, a camel in the desert, or a boat sailing across the sea . . . Yoga has the power of transformation. Not only does it strengthen bodies and calm minds, but with a little imagination, it can show us that anything is possible. New York Times bestselling illustrator Peter H. Reynolds teams up with author and certified Yoga instructor Susan Verde in this book about creativity and the power of self-expression. I Am Yoga encourages children to explore the world of Yoga and make room in their hearts for the world beyond it.
Move! - From the team behind the high-energy children’s musical and fitness group Lolly and YoYo, MOVE! is a unique board book unlike any your child has read. It’s a book that combines imaginative play with movement. Hold it up to your face like a big pair of jaws and ROAR and STOMP like a rampaging dinosaur. Hold on tight and SPIN like a flying saucer weaving through an interplanetary race. MOVE! will excite the imaginations and inspire the movements of kids and parents alike. Lively rhyming text and colorful, spirited illustrations by award-winning artist Luke Flowers prompt young readers to perform physical activities utilizing the book’s die-cut holes and handles. Now lie down on top and paddle the floor. Jump on board and you’re SURFING to shore! Can you FLUTTER this book like butterfly wings? And fly around looking for colorful things? This is a book that fosters a love for reading and for physical activity. It’s the book Press Here meets the game Twister with a little yoga thrown in—designed to keep kids healthy, happy, and having fun.
Anne's Numbers - A must-have board book for Anne of Green Gables fans, with charming, hand-embroidered illustrations. Iconic moments from the beloved L.M. Montgomery classic are celebrated in this adorable concept book. Walk along with Anne as she goes on a nature walk, counting trees, flowers, clouds and friends! The path Anne takes is based on the description of Anne’s walk to school in Anne of Green Gables. Each scene has multiple counting opportunities, with simple text and tactile, gorgeous works of art created from cut fabric and embroidery. Part of a series of Anne concept books, Anne’s Numbers is a perfect way to introduce future fans to this winning character.
The Busy Body Book: A Kid's Guide to Fitness - A celebration of the amazing human machine and a life on the move! Your amazing body can jump, sprint, twist, and twirl. Your body is built to move. Lizzy Rockwell explains how your bones and muscles, heart and lungs, nerves and brain all work together to keep you on the go. Kids walk and skate and tumble through these pages with such exuberance that even sprouting couch potatoes will want to get up and bounce around—and that’s the ultimate goal. Studies show that American kids are becoming more sedentary and more overweight and that they carry these tendencies with them into adolescence and adulthood. Experts agree that we need to help kids make physical activity a life-long habit. Through education, information, and encouragement, this book aims to inspire a new generation of busy bodies!
Yoga Magic - Make yoga magic with the most beautiful and interactive kids yoga book out there! Pull the levers, turn the wheels, and watch as 13 adorable children come to life to act out 13 yoga poses and create other yoga magic. Kids will delight in seeing the sun rise over the mountain pose, boats float beneath the bridge pose, and branches magnificently blossom when a child makes the tree pose. A perfect tool for instructing and inspiring little yogis of all ages.
My First Yoga Class - Young readers can learn all about what happens at yoga class in this Pre-level 1 Ready-to-Read with sweet text and photographs of yogis-in-training! It’s the first day of yoga class in this early reader by Biscuit creator Alyssa Satin Capucilli. Roll out your yoga mat! What will it be like? Yoga students stand on sticky mats and learn poses with animal names like “downward dog” and “lion pose.” Young readers will love seeing kids their age practicing yoga in this adorable introduction to the sport! Includes a special section of step-by-step instructions for basic yoga poses—to be done with a parent or guardian’s supervision.
Peaceful Piggy Meditation - What can you do when you’re mad, sad, or anxious? Find a quiet spot, sit, and breathe. When you meditate every day, your mind stays happy, and even bad days are a little easier.
This Moment Is Your Life (and So Is This One) - This lively, hands-on guide to meditation, mindfulness, and yoga is a perfect introduction for tweens and teens. Don’t just do something, be here. The key to happiness is being able to find comfort in this moment, here and now. When you are completely present and not distracted by regrets, worries, and plans, even for a little while, you begin to feel more confident and can deal more easily with everything you experience. This is mindfulness: paying attention to this very moment, on purpose and without judgment–simply being present with curiosity. This engaging guide, packed with simple exercises and endearing full-color artwork, provides a handy starting point for bringing mindfulness into your daily life. Chapters on meditation, yoga, and mindful breathing explain the benefits of these practices, and you are free to pick and choose what to try. There are quick exercises throughout, and a more extensive tool kit at the end of each chapter. The final chapter offers satisfying five-day challenges that map out ways to pull all of the book’s mindfulness techniques together in your day-to-day life.
Meddy Teddy: Mindful Poses for Little Yogis - You’re never too young to do yoga! Take a deep breath, and follow along as Meddy Teddy shows you his favorite yoga poses. Meddy Teddy, the poseable bear that’s been praised by People and Cosmopolitan, is taking to the mat for a younger reader with this engaging board book introduction to yoga for tots. Photos of Meddy give toddlers a realistic picture of what to do so that they can follow along and learn to pose themselves in crow, pigeon, and other meditative positions that improve flexibility and relaxation. This book is perfect for parents looking to help their children (and themselves) learn how to breathe deeply and stay calm amid the bedlam of the Terrible Twos and the Trying Threes. Namaste.
Walk and See: Colors - This elegant board book takes very young readers on a journey to explore the colors of the rainbow. The talented Rosalind Beardshaw’s beautiful illustrations and visual storytelling follow two children on a summer walk through the countryside, bringing a narrative feel to this simple book for very young readers. The third in a series of seasonal concept books, this is a board book to visit again and again.
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