How To Help Your Children Learn To Like Running

girl running a race

I am lucky that my daughter enjoys running, but it isn’t all the time. People often ask how I got her to like running with me and I thought I would share some tips on how to help your children to like running. Getting your kids more active is always a great thing and hopefully these ideas will help you.

Run to a fun place.

Setting a goal like running to the park that is a mile or 2 away to play and then running back home after is a great way to get a run in, plus your child will be excited. No park near by? What about FroYo? Running to our local frozen yogurt place in the summer is always fun.

Register for a fun race.

Registering for a fun race your kids will like would be a great family goal. A suggestion is The Color Run. My daughter LOVES this! Getting dirty in a rainbow of colors is her idea of fun. Here is my post with more about The Color Run.color run mother daughter with medals


Don’t force them, otherwise they will end up hating it.

We all know that if your kids are told repeatedly to do something they no longer want to do it and get resentful about it. Let them feel like running is fun and their choice, not something you are forcing them to do. If they play other sports they tend to learn that running is the punishment, i.e. liners or laps for a missed goal or play at practice. Teach them how running is fun and not a punishment. 

The more they see you run the more likely they are to do it too.

At first let them ride their bike or scooter while you run. If they are younger, get a jogging stroller and allow them to get out and run when they want to. As time goes on they will love it more and more.

Sign them up for a fantastic running program.

Girls On The Run and Boys On The Right Track are both fantastic programs and can turn a kid who doesn’t like running into a someone who really enjoys it. There are also local running and track groups in lots of areas. These are fun because they usually teach other track events too, like long jump.

Make a chart.

Much like a homework or chore chart, a running chart can be fun. Help them keep track of miles and goals while getting gold star stickers.

Get them an activity tracker.

There are lots of kids activity trackers available. We love Garmin. Here is one you can get on Amazon.

For kids that are a little older, a basic Apple Watch is also a great gift. Many kids love hitting their goals every day or beating you in steps. This helps encourage them to get moving without you being the one to ask them to.


I hope these tips will help you get active as a family and your kids will start to love running together. Being outdoors is fantastic quality family time. 

Here are some other posts you might like:

What are the Benefits of Family Time?

15 Fun Kid Friendly Party Snack Ideas

Tips For Bringing Your Family With You To A runDisney Race

Tips For Beginner Runners

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mother daughter color run