When the first snow of winter hits, kids get excited and want to be outside to build a snowman, go sledding, and have some frozen fun before coming inside to enjoy a cup of cocoa. After the first snow or two, though, the magic and excitement of winter wears off, and kids would rather stay inside watching movies or playing video games. Who can blame them?
Although winter has its moments, there’s nothing fun about fingers that are too cold to function, wet and dirty messes tracked in from outside, rising heat bills, and having to scrape the car and wait for it to warm up. If your family is like most, you’ve probably spent a majority of winter days in “hibernation” mode, waiting out the cold weather from the comfort of the indoors and dreaming of spring flowers and summer days in the pool.
The weather may not be perfect yet, but there’s no reason you shouldn’t turn off the TV and get your kids moving. Here are some activity tricks that will help you get your kids moving again while having some fun.
Outdoor Activities to Get Your Kids Moving
Even though it may not be in the 70s yet, the weather is starting to warm up, making it difficult to want to stay inside. Why wait until it gets too hot? Here are some great outdoor activities you can do right now to get your kids moving.
Go hiking. Hikes are an adventure. You get to see things you’ve never seen before and explore new landscapes. Then, in the end, you (usually) get to experience some sort of breathtaking view your kids won’t soon forget.
Spend a day on the playground. What kid doesn’t love the playground? Studies have shown that there are a lot of benefits to playing on the playground and climbing, spinning, swinging, sliding, etc. besides having fun.
Play with bubbles. They’re cheap, they’re mesmerizing, and (as long as the bottle doesn’t get knocked over) they’ll keep kids entertained for hours. Bubbles are a blast and will encourage kids to run and get moving. If you want to take it one step further, you can try making your own giant bubbles!
Create (messy) art. Kids are naturally creative, and they’re naturally kind of messy too, so why not combine the two? There are all sorts of messy art projects that you can let your kids try from popping paint filled balloons on butcher paper to smearing food-colored shaving cream all over a canvas—just make sure they do it outside unless you’ve been considering a new look for your walls.
Play a sport. It’s tough to beat good, old-fashioned sports. Teach your kids how to play a pickup game of basketball or play a neighborhood game of baseball. Soccer is an all-time favorite, and everybody loves football too!
Plant a garden. Although you may not want to undertake the task of planting and caring for an entire vegetable garden, getting your kids outside and having them help you plant new flowers or a small herb garden will give them the chance to get dirty and earn a sense of accomplishment. You can also give them responsibility for the plants they help plant and watch them care for them through the season.
Go rollerblading/skating. Rollerblading and skating is a great activity because not only does it get you moving, but it can be done within the confines of your driveway or parking lot, or can be used as a mode of transportation to the park or another fun destination.
Activities for Those Days that You’re Stuck Inside
Even after the weather gets hot, there are days that you’ll be stuck inside. Whether you’re feeling under the weather or it’s raining outside, you don’t have to resort to watching TV. Here are some fun indoor activities that you can do to get your kids moving while it’s still cold and even on those days that don’t let you go outside.
Have a dance party. It’s hard to resist a good beat! Turn on some tunes and let your kids’ feet do the rest. Dance parties are a lot of fun and a great way to get moving.
Jump rope. If you have enough ceiling space and don’t have any downstairs neighbors (or know they aren’t home), why not pull out some jump ropes and hop ‘til you drop? Your kids will get some exercise and will hopefully be worn out enough for bedtime.
Jump on bubble wrap. Even adults love popping bubble wrap. If you’re stuck inside, lay some out on the floor and jump around until all of the popping has stopped. What better way to beat the rainy-day blues?
Sock skate. While you might not want roller blades/skates in your house, socks won’t hurt anything. If you’ve got hard floors in your house, put on your slipperiest socks and have races down the hallway!
Play red light, green light. It’s a classic, it’s fun, and it can be done indoors. Why not play a game of red light, green light, or even Simon says to get your kids moving?
Hula hoop. Even if your kid(s) can’t hula hoop well yet, it’s a great way to get them moving, and you’ll get a good laugh watching them try.
Have an indoor scavenger hunt. If you’ve got some candy stashed away, or need to get your kids off the couch while you wait for dinner, make up a scavenger hunt to keep them occupied. In the end, you can share a treat with them or have them all finish at the dinner table when it’s time for the meal.
The cold weather makes it difficult to want to get up and get moving, but with things warming up, spring weather around the corner, and summer following fast, it’s time to get your kids moving again. Even if you’re still stuck inside, there are a lot of activities you can do like jumping rope or skating in socks to get your kids off the couch and moving around.