Now that the temperature has dropped outside, you may be finding yourself looking for different kinds of activities to keep your kids busy and entertained. It’s true that they can’t spend as much time out of doors in the cold weather as they can in the summer, but outdoor play is still important. During the winter months, though, outdoor play should be supplemented with active indoor play as well. Did you know that children tend to eat more in the winter months and burn only half as many calories as they do in the summer? Clearly, you’ll want to make sure your kids stay moving this winter. Here are a few ideas for activities, indoors and out, that will help:
- Outdoors: Use the environment. For outside play, rather than viewing the seasonal changes as a negative use them! Fall leaves all over your yard? Rake them up into big piles (the kids can help if they’re big enough) and have leaf jumping contests. Is it snowing out? Build a snowman and have a snowball fight. Your kids will be way too busy enjoying themselves to fret about being cold.
- Indoors: Dance. You may or may not know it, but dancing is excellent exercise. And while the types of music they may change with age, most kids of all ages enjoy dancing. For small children, you can start with songs like I’m a Little Teapot; Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes; and Ring Around the Rosie – it may not be strictly dancing, but these songs do have their own moves that are easy to learn, if your children don’t already know them. Try turning on Disney Radio or putting on a children’s music CD and playing freeze dance. For older children, put on the radio, or their favorite CD, and have a dance contest. Let them really showcase their moves… your children may surprise you.
- In or Out: There are some fun ideas that will burn calories and use energy and are good both indoors and out, depending on your weather and what you need at the time. An obstacle course, for example, can be arranged in the house or outside of it. A scavenger hunt or treasure hunt can also be an indoor or outdoor activity, or even both at the same time. You can even set up a miniature golf course, through the house or in your backyard. Use plastic bats for clubs and set up toys and household objects to be used as obstacles to put under, over, around and through. This idea is as much fun to set up as it is to play.
With a little effort and imagination, you can keep your kids as busy and active as they need to be during the colder months of the year. It will be good for their health, and you’ll all have fun doing it.