By: David Reeves
With the winter weather being too cold for kids to just go outside to play, it’s tough for them to keep active being stuck indoors. The problem is, when your kids spend all day in front of the TV or playing on game consoles, they miss out on the health and emotional benefits of staying active. What can you do to encourage them to keep moving? What indoor activities promote life away from a screen? To help answer these questions, here are a few ideas for how to keep your children active inside and even outside this winter:
Dance out the energy. Plan a time each day to crank up the tunes and dance in the living room. Your kids are much more likely to enjoy this activity when you join in, too. You could even make a game of the party by periodically stopping the music mid-song and telling everyone to freeze.
- Join a gym or YMCA. Find a gym or community center in your area that offers family-friendly classes, swimming, gymnastics, sports, etc., and take advantage of it all winter. For kids who have a hard time moving in a small space, a large gym or court could be just the ticket to inspiring indoor fun.
- Set up a home gym. Home gyms aren’t just for adults anymore. Take the same concept and make it fun for the kids by choosing colorful, enticing, fitness-friendly features like BOSU® Balance Trainer. Whether they’re bouncing or balancing on balls, they’re strengthening their bodies in the process.
- Do a workout video together. Pick a workout video, turn it on and conduct a family workout session just like you’re at the gym. You could pick out new DVDs each week at the library for free, and you may even want to get the kids involved in making selections so you can keep them interested.
- Create an obstacle course. Turn the living room into an adventure when you re-arrange furniture, set up stations and create a home obstacle course. Challenge your kids to complete the course in increasingly faster time periods to keep them motivated to try their hardest.
- Clean up. Teaching your children how to complete household chores is not only good for your household routines, but it’s also good for getting them to be active. Whether it’s vacuuming the living room, picking up toys, dusting furniture or washing dishes, chores require activity.
- Pursue a project. Have you been thinking about repainting the basement or re-organizing the garage? Make it a family project. Not only will you get your kids moving, but you’ll also teach them new skills in the process.
- Shovel snow. The next time you have a big snowfall, bundle everyone up and shovel as a family. Even if all the smaller kids do is play alongside you, you’re still staying active outside. Make it fun by offering a reward at the end of the job like hot chocolate and cookies or a movie in front of the fire. Not only will shoveling together make a necessary job easier, but it will also help everyone burn calories at the same time.
- Make snowmen. Another beloved winter activity that’s filled with calorie-burning action is making snowmen. Bundle up nice and tight and head outside to work together to build huge mounds of snow.
- Plan excursions. Instead of staying at your house on cold days, try going to indoor destinations in your area. As long as the roads are clear, why not visit museums, activity centers or ice skating rinks to do something fun and active in your community?
Half the battle in staying active through the winter months is thinking about ways to get moving. Use the 10 ideas above to stay inspired all season with fun activities!
David Reeves is Marketing Manager at Superior Playgrounds, a playground manufacturing company. The company designs outdoor play structures for specific age groups to encourage safe, independent play.