It’s easy to fall into patterns on inactivity during winter, especially if it’s brutally cold outside. As moms, however, we know that we need to kids active during winter. Here are 7 ways to accomplish this:
There’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing.
So they say.
Want to make sure your kids stay active during the long cold days, weeks, and months of winter? Let us guide you.
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Build Indoor Forts
If you’re like me building forts inside with the kids is not your favorite pastime. Its messy, hard to clean up, and messes up the living areas of the house.
However… ask any kid what they want to do on a cold day and it’s to turn the living room into a play fort. It’s so much fun for them. Not only that, but it’s an activity that requires creativity, critical thinking skills, and physicality.
So, set some guidelines and timeframes and allow them to go crazy with the kitchen chairs, blankets, and couch pillows.
In just 15 minutes a night (while you’re in your pajamas!) take your home (and heart and mind) from stressed out to organized.
Embrace the Elements
There’s something magical about embracing the cold for some active play. I am by no means suggesting that kids should embrace the dangers of the cold. No way! However, you can embrace some of the cold to keep kids active during the winter.
There are ways to have some really exciting and fun playtimes in the cold.
- Bundle up for an afternoon walk in the park.
- Play in the snow (build a snowman, make snow angels, or have an old fashioned snow ball fight).
- Create an outside hot tub with warm water in a plastic tub.
- Use food dye and small plastic tubs to make ice bricks for an igloo.
- Go sledding.
- Blow bubbles and watch them freeze.
- Set up an outside bowling rink (use snow balls).
- Make faces on trees using snow or ice.
- Create an outside ice skating rink by spraying water overnight.
Create Space in Your House
There have been times where our entire living room turned into what the kids thought was a scene from “The Floor is Lava.”
It may be that during those bitter cold months, you re-think your living space to make it a more active area. For example, remove the coffee table and replace it with a comfy rug to tumble.
You can also rearrange the kids rooms or hallway areas (put up toys, store away extras, etc.) to provide more space for active playing.
Here are some indoor games that you can play to stay active during the winter:
- hide and go seek
- Simon says
- turn the stairs into a slide
- play pop the balloon games
- dress up games/roll play
- build a tower with pool noodles
- turn hallway space into a race track for matchbox cars (masking tape on the floor works great)
- use party streamers to create a laser maze
It may be a stretch of your patience, but rest assured that soon the kids can take their active play back outside. After that, you will have your living spaces back to normal.
Check off critical household, social, and hygiene skills for your child so they’re prepared (not petrified) of growing up!
Utilize Your Community Resources/Locations
Depending on where you live, there may be some great community resources for active play.
Check out the local recreation programs. Normally there is a city league basketball program happening during the colder months of the year.
Also, you can see about your local YMCA for children’s activities and programs. It may be worth adjusting your schedule to add in some of these time spots.
If you don’t live where these programs exist, check out Facebook or other social media platforms for community groups. There are often mom groups where play dates or social opportunities are taking place.
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Limit Their Screentime to Keep Kids Active During Winter
Screen time is a huge inhibiter to active free play.
If you do allow your children to have screen time, you may want to adjust your schedule to have them limit that for during the coldest times of the day.
That way, they can enjoy the sunlight or warmer parts of the day. It may be that during this season, your schedule is a but different simply because they need to have play time when weather permits.
Don’t let them trap you into believing that they are too cold or too bored to have fun when it’s cold.
- Provide them with some non-screen time alternatives that are active.
- Set boundaries and stick to them. Kids will try to take advantage if they see you bending on it.
- Don’t let them use screens as an excuse to skip active play.
Re-Vamp Your Daily Routine
Flexibility is an important life skill. Don’t get me wrong… I’m all about routine.
However, being able to adjust day-to-day based on the weather may be necessary during the cold months.
Don’t throw outside active play out the window just because it’s snowing, icy, or freezing. There may be windows of wonder in all the fridgid cold.
It may be good for the kids (and your sanity) to seize the moment when it comes to being active.
For example, maybe an opportunity presented itself for a daytime play date in the park. It’s the first day you’ve had this week that the sun is warm enough to play outside.
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Use Virtual Workouts to Keep Kids Active During Winter
There is a growing database of online/virtual activities for kids these days. It may seem “out there” if you’re old school, but trust me… kids are used to the virtual scene.
Here are some online virtual experiences to keep kids active during winter (or any time):