As parents, the winter weather seems to limit the outdoor activities you typically do with your children. Your warm-weather outdoor recreations and excursions are your go-to methods to help your children burn off their energy. You may wonder, “how do I keep my children active during these cold weather months?” Luckily, there are some alternative resources and tools that will keep your children moving throughout the winter season. Here are some tips and ideas for keeping your kids active on cold days:
Community Center Activities
Most communities and neighborhoods have family centers that offer a variety of classes and activities for children. The YMCA, for example, has seasonal indoor sports teams that you can enroll your kids in. They can play indoor sports like volleyball, basketball, handball, indoor tennis and more. These sports will help your children get their wiggles out and also give them an opportunity to socialize. If your family doesn’t have time to commit to regularly scheduled sporting activities, community centers will often host play-time sessions, where the children can engage in active games in the center’s gym.
Fitness Tracking Tech
Create activities and games within your home that will get your children moving and keep them occupied. With fitness and step trackers, your child can engage in at-home movement games and set goals for themselves. They will be motivated to meet their step or heart rate goals, especially if they are in competition with other family members to achieve a certain number. Smart watches, like the Samsung Gear S2 classic, are great tools to help your children track fitness. The S2 classic has a built-in Heart Rate Sensor, S Health features and a pedometer. The smart watch can keep track of daily activity patterns and give customized real time coaching to assist your children in achieving their exercise goals.
There are many kid-friendly exercise apps that will keep your children engaged in games that help them release physical energy. The Sworkit fitness app provides customizable workouts for strength, agility and flexibility for kids, ages 7-14. The app engages them in fun exercises like a crab crawl, frog jumps, hopping on one foot and tight roping. These exercise routines are easy to follow and can keep your kids engaged in physical activity for 5-30 minutes. Before you let your kids use the app, make sure you create a designated workout spot within your home, so they can enjoy the apps features without risk of breaking household items or injuring themselves.
Active Video Games
There are many video games on the market that are geared toward exercise and movement. Wii consoles offer many programs or games that will keep your children physically active within your home. Set up a regular schedule where there is a designated time for your child to play a game with a sibling or parent. They are likely to interact with the game for longer if they have someone to do it with. Wii Sports, Dance Dance Revolution and other active games will help your kids and the whole family engage in fun, exercise-based activities.
Not all activities need to be moved indoors during the winter. There are a number of recreational opportunities that take advantage of the cold-weather conditions. Introduce your children to winter sports like skiing, snowshoeing, ice hockey or ice skating. If you aren’t able to take the entire family out for a winter sport outing, you can sign your children up for a ski bus program. These types of programs will provide transportation to the mountains with other children from the school or community, so your child can exercise and play in a snowy environment.