As temperatures drop, it’s easy for kids and parents alike to fall into a slump of watching hours of television or playing video games. The lack of snow this year has prevented some epic snowball fights, but the milder weather makes it easier to enjoy more time outside. There are plenty of ways to keep kids active both indoors and outdoors during the winter months.
Embrace the cold
Families can make a day out of classic winter activities like sledding,
skating, skiing and/or snowboarding. Snowshoeing is a great option for those who love hiking. No matter how you choose to play outside, the key to keeping kids interested in being out in the cold is keeping them warm. Layers are a must, along with insulated boots, hats, gloves and scarves. Any time rolling around in the snow is an option, snowpants should be included in your kid’s outfit.
It takes more calories to keep your body warm, so working up a sweat in below-freezing temperatures acts as double duty! Making snow angels and building snowmen are low-energy ways to have fun with the snow. Your young architect can help build an igloo, which can become a hangout spot until it warms back up.
Keep the party inside
There are tons of ways to get kids moving without having to leave the house, too. Interactive video games, like the Wii and Xbox Kinect, are great options to get kids that love to spend hours in front of the television off the couch.
Have a dance party!
Play some funky tunes on the big speakers and get your groove on with your kids. Dancing never feels like a workout, but just a few upbeat tracks can get everyone’s heartbeat up and breaking a sweat, plus it’s a great stress reliever!
Create activity zones inside
If there’s a hallway in your home, set up a competition consisting of races and endurance tests. See who can do the most jumping jacks, sit-ups, or who can balance on one leg longest. Utilize a carpeted staircase for a more intense race. Tape a long strip of bubble wrap to the hallway floor and create a track for toddlers to run up and down (or you, no one can resist bubble wrap!)
Bring fun outside games inside! Use masking tape to draw a hopscotch board on the floor and have kids hop through it. The classic “floor is lava” game is another easy way to have kids hopping all over the house. Outdoor toys such as jump ropes and hula-hoops can also be brought inside if there’s enough space. Set up toys and cushions around a room to create an indoor obstacle course. You can even reverse roles and have kids set up the obstacle course for you to go through, and make a race out of it!
Ice skating is a go-to for wintertime fun, but cold feet may keep kids off the ice. It’s possible to bring the fun of skating inside! Polish hardwood floors to make them slippery, and pull on a pair of thick, fuzzy socks. People of all ages can have fun “skating”, and showing off tricks that might require a little more skill when attempted on an actual rink.
With one in three Michigan children being classified as overweight or obese, staying active during the hibernation months is crucial. Reducing TV and stationary video game time helps promote an active lifestyle. Just an hour each day of vigorous activity can really make a difference in a child’s development. BCBSM is dedicated to helping Michigan families become more active and lead healthier lives. Finding fun ways to get moving will benefit not only your family’s health, but fosters bonding time that will cultivate memories you will cherish forever.