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Caloric Expenditure During Activities for Kids

author image Eliza Martinez
Eliza Martinez has written for print and online publications. She covers a variety of topics, including parenting, nutrition, mental health, gardening, food and crafts. Martinez holds a master's degree in psychology.
Caloric Expenditure During Activities for Kids
Staying active is good for health. Photo Credit Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images

Many parents have lamented that they want the energy of their kids. It's true that children expend a lot of calories over the course of a day. Knowing how many calories your child burns during a typical day helps you ensure that she's getting enough calories to support her activity but not so many that she starts to gain weight, which can be unhealthy. Monitor your child's calorie expenditure to keep her healthy and on track with development.


Kids of most ages can participate in team sports. Not only do they build social skills and physical development, but participating in practice and games helps a child burn calories and stay physically fit. A 75-pound child burns nearly 400 calories per hour playing basketball, about 300 calories per hour playing touch football or soccer, approximately 200 calories per hour while swimming, about 150 calories per hour playing volleyball and about 100 calories per hour bowling, according to calculations from HealthStatus.com. A heavier child will burn more calories and one who weighs less burns fewer calories.

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Outdoor Activities

Children don't have to be involved in team sports to burn calories. Many outdoor games and activities burn calories and help your child stay in good shape. In one hour, a 75-pound child can burn about 100 calories fishing or playing Frisbee, 135 calories riding a bike or raking, 150 calories washing the car or mowing the lawn, 170 calories skating, 200 calories hiking and 350 calories jumping rope. Mix and match your child's favorites for maximum benefits.

Indoor Activities

Playing outside provides higher calorie burn potential because there's more room to move around and get active, but that doesn't mean that being stuck inside doesn't also burn calories. Mix outside games and sports with inside fun to balance out your child's overall calorie burn. Per hour, a 75-pound child burns approximately 35 calories sleeping, reading or sitting still, 50 calories playing cards or board games, 60 calories studying, 90 calories playing billiards or cooking, 100 calories playing the piano or guitar and 200 calories dancing or boxing with a punching bag.


Most kids have chores they must do around the house. They probably don't like doing them, but they keep your house maintained and burn calories at the same time. In one hour, a 75-pound child burns about 100 calories doing general housework, but burns 77 calories ironing, 90 calories putting away groceries, 150 calories mopping, 180 calories cleaning gutters and gardening, 200 calories shoveling snow or chopping wood and 225 calories moving furniture. If you can't get outside and move around, have a cleaning day to make sure your child stays fit.

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