Wednesday, December 7, 2016

10 Tips for Keeping Your School-Aged Children Active During Winter

My youngest of three daughters is 5 years old, and keeping her active in the winter has inspired me to get creative. While keeping kids active when it is cold outside is more challenging than when it is warm and sunny, it can definitely be done. Fitness is important to me, and as a result it is looked upon as fun and worthwhile to my child. Children follow by example, so I have used my desire to be physically fit to my advantage. If you need fresh, creative ideas for keeping your school-aged children active during the winter, try these 10 tips. While the tips are aimed at school-aged kids, many of them apply to youth of all ages since I have a 13, 11 and 5-year-old.

#1 Practice yoga with your children.

Participate in yoga with your children for a healthy way to bond with them. My little one loves yoga, and she is very good at it. I have taught her the sun salutation, also known as surya namaskar, which is a 12 posture sequence. She also enjoys the plow pose, and this pose relaxes the mind as it gives the shoulders and spine a good stretch.

#2 Bundle up and go ice skating.

Bundle up by dressing in layers, and enjoy a day at an indoor or outdoor ice skating rink. Many rinks offer walkers for less experienced skaters, and when my youngest daughter was 4-years-old she used one at her oldest sister’s ice skating party. Children of all ages enjoy skating on the ice. In fact, all three of my daughters have a blast every time we go.

#3 Go bowling or duckpin bowling.

Take your children bowling or duckpin bowling. Both offer pleasing, pin striking amusement for the entire family. Duckpin involves pins and balls that are smaller than the ones used in traditional bowling, making it great for young children. The first time my kids were introduced to a miniature version of this game, they were excited.

#4 Bowl at home.

Strike pins inside by making your own bowling set. I made a simple set with empty 2-liter soda bottles and a ball my daughter won from Chuck E. Cheese’s. She played with her homemade game every day for awhile, and she still enjoys it.

#5 Play indoor hopscotch.

Hopscotch isn’t just for playing outdoors when the weather is warm, and hopping indoors is a great way to keep children physically active when the weather is chilly. This fun game can be played by purchasing a foam or rug play mat. Similarly, Twister Hopscotch will serve the same purpose, and this is the way our family chooses to play this game indoors.

#6 Play games that involve physical activity.

Many games can keep school-aged children active during the winter months. Games such as Limbo and Pop Goes Froggio will keep kids moving while they are having fun. In fact, I purchased Pop Goes Froggio for my 5-year-old this year as a Christmas present to aid in keeping her active.

In addition, many consoles such as the Nintendo Wii offer video games that encourage motion. My 5-year-old enjoys playing Nickelodeon Fit and Wii Sports Resort on a regular basis.

#7 Take your children to a local bounce house.

Bounce houses offer hopping fun for school-aged kids. Children have a chance to use their energy while getting a workout. My kids have a blast for hours at bounce houses as they jump, slide and crawl on inflatable equipment. Many locations even allow parents to play for free with a paying child, so parents get to have fun and keep little ones safe at the same time.

#8 Go swimming at a local YMCA or recreation center.

Children love swimming in the winter because many times it is an activity they usually only get to participate in during the summer. Last winter, my youngest daughter took swimming lessons twice a week at our local YMCA, and she enjoyed learning to swim by herself. Furthermore, my husband and I got the pleasure of watching her swim on her own at such a young age.

#9 Have a dance party.

Don’t just have an ordinary dance party. Have one with an amazing atmosphere, sublime sounds and an abundance of energy. Fog machines and black lights give dance parties the added advantage of an awesome atmosphere. I purchased a mist maker after Halloween on clearance, and all three of my children think this is a magnificent machine. Add dance music and lighting for a fun, fat burning party that everyone will enjoy.

#10 Enroll your children in a sports class.

Sports classes such as karate, dance lessons or gymnastics offer children the opportunity to learn a skill while being physically active. Over the years, my children have taken gymnastics, ballet, cheerleading and swim lessons. They also participated in basketball during the winter.

More From Rebecca Bardelli:

3 Ways to Catch Your Child in a Lie

4 Ways to React When Your Child Says ‘I Hate You’

Top Five Most Common Sports Injuries in Adolescents

Labels: 10 Tips for Keeping Your School-Aged Children Active During Winter

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