Tips for Keeping Kids Active this Winter

Family SkateWith short days and cold temperatures, winter is a difficult time for adults to stay active. The challenge is even greater for children, who need physical activity in order to grow, avoid obesity, and ensure healthy sleeping patterns. The good news is that with a little bit of planning and creativity, you can find fun and healthy ways to get your children the exercise they need — even in the most extreme winter weather.

  • Play in the snow. While winter may bring cold temperatures and inches of snow, it also can bring opportunities for fun and healthy play. Bundle your kids up and take them out sledding or snowman building. Or, engage in a good old fashioned game of freeze tag or a snowball fight.
  • Go skating. Another great way to get exercise and spend quality time with your family is to go ice skating. If it's too cold outside to skate, consider bringing your kids to a local hockey rink during "open skate" sessions. Or, replace your blades for wheels and take your kids roller skating.
  • Do workout videos. Invite your kids to do yoga or some other exercise with you. You can find free videos online or rent them from your local library.
  • Join a family gym. Is there a YMCA or other gym nearby? There, you'll find physical activities for every member of your family, such as swimming and basketball.
  • Find an indoor playground. Why wait for a birthday party? Visit a local indoor playground and give your kids a chance to run around and blow off steam.
  • Make room in your basement. Unfinished basements provide a great opportunity for kids to move around, play ball, or even ride a scooter or bike, depending on the size of your basement.
  • Enroll in organized activities. Sign your kids up for indoor sports and activities, such as gymnastics, dance, basketball, soccer, hockey, or volleyball.
  • Dance like no one's watching. Crank up your children's favorite songs and have a family dance party. Be sure to include line dances for extra fun.
  • Play interactive video games. Instead of games that have your children sit for hours, encourage them to play interactive video games where they use their bodies.

 Partaking in these fun activities won't just keep kids active this winter; they'll also bring your family together.