Brigham Young wanted his children to have all the opportunities for physical growth, as well as educational advantages. He remembered his own childhood of hard work and sadness after his mother died, and he wanted things to be better for his children.
Brigham built a gym for his family on the porch at the back of the Lion House that ran the full length of the building. There were ladders and bars to climb, jumping ropes, hoops, roller skates, wooden swords, swings, barbells, and big balls to play with. Teachers came to train the children in the use of the equipment, as well as dancing. The gym was lots of fun and helped the children develop confidence in their physical abilities as well as strong bodies.