Keeping Kids Active This Winter
It’s no secret. Kids who get adequate movement throughout the day sleep better at night, resulting in a happier, healthier child. Here in the Midwest we appreciate the warm Spring and Summer days, and take advantage of them with pool days, long bike rides, and water balloon play in the backyard. But when the temps turn frigid, some kids might prefer video games next to the fire place over bike riding with icy conditions. It’s so important for our children to get the movement they need, regardless of the weather outdoors.
So how can we keep our kids active in the Winter? Kids can definitely do most of the same activities they do during warmer months, but they need to bundle up.
Indoor Winter Activities
- Make commercial time, exercise time. Have kids get up and do jumping jacks or duck walks around the living room during commercial breaks of their favorite shows. No commercials? Just set a timer for a break in the middle of the episode.
- Play video games that incorporate movement. Host a family game night of Just Dance or Wii bowling – or similar games that get participants up and moving.
- Incorporate small dance parties throughout the day. Put on a favorite song and have kids dance around the room. Or have them dance along to a video on sites like Go Noodle.
- Do a clean-up sprint. Encourage kids to dust, vacuum or declutter as many rooms as they can in five or 10 minutes.
- Build an indoor obstacle course. Use household or garage items to encourage kids to crawl, jump and wiggle their way to fun.
- Hold a scavenger hunt. Get kids moving throughout the house on a race to find items on individualized search lists.
Outdoor Winter Activities
- Take family bike rides or walks. As long as you dress for the weather, there’s no reason your family can’t enjoy the outdoors all year long. Plan ahead and enjoy outdoor activity when the sun is out.
- Make a nature collage. Have kids collect rocks, leaves and twigs in your yard or at a nearby park, then assemble them into a collage as a family.
- Shoot baskets, throw a baseball, jump rope or scooter ride. Make a list of your child’s favorite outdoor activities and allow them to choose which they’ll enjoy during a set time.
- Have backyard relay races. Time your family doing relays across the yard while dribbling a soccer ball, skipping or hopping.
- Enjoy the snow. If you’re lucky enough to have some snowy days, make the most of them. Build a snowman. Have a snowball throwing contest. Go for sled rides. Use spray bottles to “paint” the snow with food coloring and water. No snow in sight? Make a “snowman” out of household objects or use balls for a throwing contest.
For more tips on a healthier winter, check out our friends at Children’s Health. How do you and your kiddos stay active this season?