Just because summer is over, doesn’t mean that your kids’ activity levels have to plummet. You’ll want to encourage them to get up off the couch and away from the TV every day for some fun exercise—hopefully so much fun that they won’t even realize it is exercise!
There are plenty of fun physical winter activities for kids that are both indoors and out. Here are just a few ideas that will help keep your children fit and healthy all through the season.
- Ice skating. Many communities that don’t normally have indoor ice skating rinks will open up special outdoor rinks during the winter months. Often you can get discounts on season passes and special rates for younger children or older adults. Bring your own skates or rent them there.
- Fun in the snow. If you get a nice sprinkling of snow, head out to make a snowman, snow angels or even have a snowball fight. If you have a hill nearby, go sledding—a cut up cardboard box works fine if you don’t have an actual wooden sled.
- Go to a gym. If it is too cold out, head to your local gym or community center. Most likely, there you’ll find a swimming pool or a basketball court. Many community centers also offer wintertime recreational activities especially designed for kids such as martial arts, dance lessons or gymnastics.
- Create an obstacle course. Obstacle courses are easy to create in your backyard by using simple everyday items such as balls, jump ropes, hula hoops, and wooden ramps. Alternately, you can turn a small space in your garage into a mini-course using a jump rope and challenging exercises. To keep the kids motivated, make it a race to see who finishes first or who can do the most exercises (say sit-ups) at each station.
- Go hiking. Hiking isn’t just for warm weather. Take time to discover local trails in their winter beauty. For some added fun, take a camera to photograph the sights. Be sure to bring along the dog, too—he needs his exercise as well.
- Go to an indoor trampoline park. Places like Sky Zone are very popular these days with kids, and offer a great way to keep them moving. Many parks offer not only “open” jump times but also sports such as trampoline dodge ball and basketball.
- Take a neighborhood stroll. Get out for a walk every day. Be sure to get out at night as well, when houses are often illuminated. Check out other neighborhoods as well once the sights in your area start to get a little dull.
- Outdoor chores. Make it standard practice to have your kids do outdoor chores such as shoveling the driveway after a fresh snowfall or bringing in wood for the fireplace. Since chores aren’t the most fun way to exercise, make sure you treat your kids to some healthy snacks such as popcorn and hot apple cider when they’ve finished.
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