Best Strategies for Keeping Kids Active and Healthy in the Winter

Best Strategies for Keeping Kids Active and Healthy in the Winter

Photo Credit: Imgorthand / iStockPhoto.com

Shift Gears to Winter Fun

With temperatures falling and snow piling up, keeping your kids active and entertained may prove more difficult than normal. Cold weather means wearing layers and kids hate how bundling up restricts their movement.

Finding a happy medium between staying warm and encouraging exercise takes a little more creativity because of the weather conditions. However, there are a number of indoor and outdoor activities your kids will enjoy during the winter months, no matter what their interests.

Winter Sports

For the sporty child, winter provides a wealth of opportunities for fitness through snow and ice specific sports. Ice hockey, ice skating, skiing, snowboarding and sledding can all be done solo or as a family.

Many ski resorts offer private and group lessons based on your child’s age. Ice skating rinks also do group lessons for kids in addition to holding tryouts for local hockey leagues.

Even some regular sports are still playable during the winter months. Recreation centers offer open gym time where kids can play basketball, volleyball, dodgeball, soccer and go swimming indoors.

Many intramural sports leagues practice and play during the winter months in addition to fall and summer.

Fun in the Snow

Besides sports, there are tons of other activities kids can do in the snow. Once you bundle them up, send them outside if the weather’s not too harsh.

They can build snowmen or igloos, make snow angels, and have snowball fights. You can even set up an obstacle course in the front yard for them to interact with.

Build mounds of different sizes for them to jump over, set up cones for them to run around, or have them search for small toys in a pile of snow. The possibilities are only limited by your imagination.

Active Video Games

Just because your child isn’t into traditional team sports or has seasonal allergies doesn’t mean they can’t stay active during winter. There are plenty of video games now which encourage movement and will get their heart pumping.

Nintendo’s Wii and Wii U offer a variety of sport games kids can play with the provided controllers such as baseball, tennis, bowling, boxing and golf. Xbox  also offers dance and interactive games where kids can use their body and movements to complete puzzles, tasks and other activities to level up.

Indoor Activities

Just like on rainy days, there are plenty of indoor options for staying active during wintery ones. The kids can make an indoor hopscotch area, play tag, hide and go seek, or Simon says, go bowling at a local alley or set up a plastic version in your house.

Charades, and similar games where something is acted out, are additional fun ways to get a little exercise. Even playing a musical instrument burns calories and keeps their little minds active and entertained.

Dance & Fitness Videos

For kids who love to get their groove on, dance and fitness DVDs are a great option. Putting on one of these videos provides them with a structured activity that will guide them through all the movements and keep them motivated through the end.

Kidz Bop has a variety of dance DVDs featuring kid-friendly versions of popular songs. Shaun T of Beachbody fame also has a Fit Kids Club DVD featuring classic dance moves and easy to learn steps.

Children who take dance classes can also practice their technique with DVDs tailored to dance types such as ballet, jazz, tap and belly dance. Many different types of martial arts also have video routines to help kids remember their training and strengthen their bodies.

There are even Yoga DVDs targeted at children and teens that teach them breathing techniques, poses and proper posture.

Even if you don’t have or want to purchase DVDs, plenty of free content is available online via YouTube. Aside from instructional videos, there are so many streaming music services now that you can just put something on and encourage the kids to freestyle.

Maybe they’ll become inspired after watching a dance DVD and want to create one of their own!

Winter doesn’t have to put a stop to your active lifestyle. Kids are little balls of energy that will always find a fun way to make the most out of any situation.

Resources

Today’s Parent (7 Ways to Keep Your Family Active This Winter)

Pediatric Therapies (Ways to Keep Your Child Active During the Winter)