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10 Ways to Keep Your Kids Active in Winter

It’s winter time, and many of us feel a real pull towards hibernation. We eat a bit more than normal, and we start spending more time indoors. Many of us are certainly less active during the cold months. That’s a real problem for us. Worse, these behaviors can rub off on our kids.

We know kids need to be active regardless of the weather, but accomplishing that goal can be nearly impossible. At least it seems that way. In reality, you’ve got plenty of options for keeping kids active year round. Here are 10 of them.

Embrace The Weather: Don’t Fear It

There are some places where the weather is simply unsafe for outdoor activities. Even in milder climates, you may have periods of time where playing outside isn’t an option. Those cases are few and far between, though. Most kids can play outside, at least briefly during the winter months, and they should.

Make sure every kid has the right winter gear. Stock up on sleds, and other winter toys. Then, send kids outside to play. They can:

Go sledding
Build a snowman
Look for animal tracks
Make snow angels
Have snowball fights
Build igloos and snow forts

Get Kids to The Gym

If your kids are a bit older, they may be able to accompany you to the gym. You might also consider a family membership at the YMCA. Check out your local community center as well. There, your kids may be able to access the gymnasium, indoor pool, climbing walls, weight rooms, martial arts, and fitness classes.

Take Advantage of School Programs

You don’t have to take on the challenge of keeping your kids active alone. Your local school may be able to help. Many have after-school programs to help kids stay busy and active. This is a great option if you work outside the home. These programs often include everything from intramural sports to free play.

Limit Screen Based Entertainment

It’s natural for kids to use screens more in the winter. Still, it’s important to set some limits. Kids who spend too much time with devices tend to get bored easily. Worse, they lose their ability to entertain themselves or engage in creative play. Force them to find other ways to have fun. Before you know it, they’ll find ways to stay active all on their own.

Stay on Top of Chores and School Work

Once you find an activity that your kids love, there’s nothing more frustrating than having to put on the brakes to get kids started on homework or chores. When kids stay caught up, they have more time to spend on physical activities. If they need help with that, consider hiring a tutor or helping them find writing assistance. You can read writing services company reviews to help you better understand your options.

Check Out Indoor Recreation Options

If it’s just too cold, check out your options for playing indoors. Your city may be home to:

Trampoline Parks
Indoor Water Parks
Play Areas in Malls or Fast Food Restaurants
Indoor Gymnasiums
Dodgeball Arenas
Year-Round Go Kart Tracks
Ice Skating Rinks (Ice and Roller)
Driving Ranges with Heated Tees
Bowling Alleys

Look for coupons and special offers. These places know they can earn lots of business during the winter, and many are very happy to help you save money. If your kids really love a particular activity, consider a membership or season pass.

Make Your Own Indoor Recreation

Don’t sweat it if going out is not an option. There are things you can do inside to get the kids moving. You can:

Use masking tape to create an obstacle course
Set up the Wii fit or other video game that encourages physical activity
Put on a workout video
Play a game of horse with an indoor basketball hoop
Hold an air hockey or ping pong ball tournament

Have a Dance Party

When in doubt, let kids dance it out. Crank the tunes, and encourage kids to dance and be as silly as they want to be. If they’re a bit shy, find an instructional video on YouTube. Some kids do better if they can follow along to someone else. This is a great way to get some exercise and to improve everybody’s mood.

Use Micro Activities

Small bursts of activity count. Make a goal to fit as many of these into your day as possible. These include:

Parking further away at the store and walking.
Taking an extra lap around the mall.
Walking the dog up and down the street.

Use your imagination, and identify as many opportunities as you can to increase your activity level as well as that of your kids.

Give Kids Physical Chores

Don’t underestimate the value of chores. By giving your kids chores you can help them stay active, teach them responsibility, and give them a sense of accomplishment. Kids can shovel driveways and sidewalks. They can spread salt on icy patches, and otherwise help with winter chores. If they’re home on winter break, they can help with indoor chores as well.

Final Thoughts

With kids, boredom and inactivity never lead to good results. It’s not healthy physically or mentally for them to go long periods of time without some form of exercise or other physical activity. Try a few of the tips listed here. These mood-boosting, fun activities will help everyone in your household survive the next cold snap.

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