Science and spirituality tell us that physical activity helps us develop stronger bodies, improves our mental health, and builds self-esteem. The winter months make it harder to stay motivated and active, especially when it’s cold and snowy and the sun’s hiding behind clouds.
This post is all about 15 fun ideas to keep kids active in the winter.
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Although we are inclined to stay indoors where it’s warm, finding ways to keep kids moving is crucial, especially during the winter. Being active helps kids burn off energy and maintain good overall health. Physical activity improves mental health and mood, assisting kids in feeling happier and more focused even during the gloomiest days.
Remarkably, children are spending more time sitting and less time being active than ever before, which is why this post is so important for families. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), children and adolescents should get at least 60 minutes of physical activity daily. However, most kids don’t meet this recommended amount, which leads to various health problems.
So, this begs the question – how can we ensure our kids get enough physical activity, especially during the winter when it’s not always ideal to be outdoors? In this post, you will find ideas to help kids stay active indoors and outdoors, keeping them moving and healthy all winter while also learning how you could keep them motivated along the way.
Let’s get started!
Indoor Activities For Kids:
Cold and gloomy weather can make it challenging for kids to keep active. However, many indoor activities can help kids burn off energy indoors, keeping them engaged and healthy, even during the winter.
Kids love these, and it’s virtually free! Use household items like cushions, pillows, blankets, chairs, indoor slides, or hula hoops to climb over, under, and weave through the obstacle course. And, if you’re unsure, you can grab an Obstacle Course in a Box to help you get started. With obstacle courses, you’ll keep your kids’ bodies and minds active while everyone cheers for each other. Here is an example of an obstacle course at home.
A great way to calm a busy mind and help loosen up those muscles is Yoga, even for kids. This is a great way to help your littles improve balance, flexibility, and focus all in one. You can easily find some child-friendly yoga videos and resources available online, but Cosmic Kids Yoga is a family favorite.
Board Games and Card Games:
At first thought, you might think there is little movement in board games and card games, but there can be if you choose the right ones. Some of our favorites are Twister, Charades, Throw Throw Burrito, and Hedbanz.
If you have space in your basement or garage, you could easily set up basketball, soccer, hockey, badminton, and table tennis. Otherwise, hope is still possible; you could head to a local gym and use their space to play indoor sports. You’ll find these sports allow children to improve their coordination and teamwork skills, all while staying active – that’s a win-win.
If you’re looking for less active games that keep your kids’ bodies moving, then Duck-Duck-Goose, What Time is it Mr. Worlf, Hide and Seek, Hopscotch, and Simon Says are all fun options that can be played anytime, anywhere, with minimal effort.
Outdoor Activities for Kids:
For the most part, just because it’s cold outside doesn’t always mean kids can’t go outdoors and be active. Many outdoor activities can help kids stay active and healthy during the winter months. Just in case you need some ideas to help motivate getting those boots and coats on, here is a fun list to start with:
Build a Snowman:
Starting with the basics. Rolling that snow into balls, searching for sticks, etc., all require movement; this is one activity that all ages enjoy.
Ice skating is a great way to improve balance and coordination. Many neighborhoods will have outdoor community skating rinks; otherwise, you could also head to an indoor ice skating rink. If your child doesn’t know how to ice skate, no problem, learning requires just as much exercise!
Sledding / Tobogganing:
This a classic winter activity for every age group – toddlers to adults! While the ride down the hill might be a breeze, that walk back up is where you can ensure your child will be using their muscles.
If done safely with rules and guidelines, snowball fights can be fun. You will constantly be moving as you run to dodge the snowballs and seek shelter. Just make sure you bundle up as always.
This one may require some adult assistance. Create a path in the snow for your child to walk, crawl or run through. If you have multiple children, this is a fun way to have healthy competition and see who could find their way to the end the fastest.
Often, people assume hiking is for warmer weather, but that’s not the case. Winter hikes can be some of the most beautiful walks. You get to move your body and appreciate the natural beauty surrounding you. Hikes, no matter the season, are an excellent activity for the whole family.
How to Stay Motivated to be Active:
So now that you have a list of activities for kids – indoors and outdoors, the big question is, how can you get kids motivated to be active, especially in the winter when it’s cold and dark outside? Here are a few tips that will help keep kids motivated and engaged:
We do this for many aspects of our lives, and it’s a great way to stay motivated. You can set a goal to walk a certain number of steps each day or to play outdoors for a specified period. Setting goals gives children something to work towards and helps create a sense of accomplishment.
Find Activities that Kids Enjoy:
This may seem straightforward, but sometimes an activity that a parent thinks a child might enjoy doesn’t always mean the child will, and often in those circumstances, you may get resistance. Finding an activity that the child is excited about will make it more likely for them to want to do it and keep them moving.
Make it a Family Activity:
What better way to stay active than involving the whole family? This is a great way to stay motivated because you are all there to support each other. Whether it’s a winter hike, building a snowman family, or a great game of charades, when kids see their parents being active, they are more likely to want to join in on the fun.
The most important is always to have fun while staying active. Physical activity is fun and shouldn’t feel like a chore. Encourage your children to try new activities to find what they enjoy most.
Physical activity is essential for a child’s mental health and physical well-being, and there are numerous ways to help kids keep moving during cold and gloomy winter days. With some creativity and planning, you could develop a slew of activities that will keep kids active indoors and outdoors during the winter months.
So, go ahead, get moving!
This post is about 15 fun ideas to keep kids active in the winter.