The winter is a tough time for parents. School gets canceled, the snow piles up outside, and kids are bored indoors with all their friends away on vacation. As a parent, it can be hard to find activities that will keep your kids active in these months without breaking the bank or putting too much pressure on you as an adult. Here are eight ways to keep your kid’s fitness level up this winter!
Go for a Jog or a Walk
One of the simplest things you can do to keep your kids active is… go for a walk or jog yourself. If you can, get them their own support stroller, so they feel like they are part of your fitness routine without making nice long walks impossible (a big plus if there are multiple children in your family!).
You can take baby steps, start with a walk/jog around the block, and work your way up. This also teaches them responsibility – if they want to play outside, you’re going to need to show them that exercise is part of their routine.
Another great physical activity for kids (and adults!) is bike riding. If there isn’t snow on the ground, you can take them biking along the sidewalk.
If there is snow, you can throw down some protective tarp and ride your bikes over that instead! Just keep an eye out for pedestrians who might have trouble seeing your child riding underneath a tarp.
Nothing gets the blood pumping like a good old fashioned snowball fight! Whether it is throwing snowballs at each other or making a snowman and defending him from your siblings, snowball fights are always a great way to keep kids active and build up that competitive spirit. And of course no winter can be complete without sledding – if you don’t have a sled, you can always go to a nearby hill and build one.
Go Hockey or Skating
Nothing gets the competitive spirit going like playing your favorite sport. You can start by driving back and forth to air hockey tables – trust me, those things are great exercise! Once your kids get their bearings on that, you can upgrade to actual inline hockey and play the game!
If you live in a climate where it snows, you can always take them skating (if they aren’t already taking figure skating lessons) or ask around for local rinks that offer skate lending. It’s also a great way to expose your kids to other winter sports like snowboarding and skiing – just make sure to take them down small and easy hills and keep an eye on their form, so they don’t get injured.
Go Snowboarding or Skiing
As mentioned previously, it is a great habit to expose your kids to as many sports as possible. If you know they are interested in skiing or snowboarding, take them someplace where lessons can be taken – the more fun and competitive the lesson environment is, the more likely they will want to continue going!
It’s also a great way to keep your kids from getting bored in these months when they have that competitive spirit going on.
Build a Snowman
No winter is complete without building a snowman or two. It’s also another great way to keep your kids active if they are getting cabin fever – the more active, the less bored they will be! This can be as easy as rolling up some snowballs and stacking them into a small pile, or you can work with them to build an entire snowman.
If you want something original, you can take turns making each part of the snowman (i.e., one person makes the head, another person makes the midsection and arms, etc.). It’s also a good way to teach your kids about different positions of the body.
Go Christmas Shopping
Sometimes, it’s easy to forget that kids can also teach you about responsibility and self-control. If your kids are asking for something expensive (i.e., an iPad), take them shopping with you – they can carry their own money and make sure that whatever it is they want, they save up for and pay for themselves.
Of course, make sure to keep an eye on your wallet – if you see a better deal later, encourage them to buy the cheaper version instead.
Go to a Winter Carnival or Festival
Although these aren’t as common anymore (especially in the Southern states), there are still places that host winter carnivals or festivals. If you are lucky enough to live in one of these areas, take your kids along with you – it is a great way to get them outside and have fun! If not, encourage your kids to hold their own small-scale version of one at home.
This might be a time when the kids stay stuck inside with nothing to do, but it doesn’t have to be that way. By getting creative and coming up with their own fun in the snow, your kids will enjoy themselves and maybe even come out of winter in better shape.