Frozen temperatures outside limit the activities we can engage our kids in to get that energy out. By mid-day they are bouncing off the walls, bored to tears (despite the hundreds of new toys from the holidays), or they spend all day on the iPad/ playing video games. Daily physical activity is encouraged for physical, cognitive, and emotional purposes; just like working out gives adults endorphins, physical activity gives children endorphins as well! Endorphins help make us happy and reduce stress… something that everyone needs now-a-days! We don’t have any more long winter breaks coming up, but we do have long weekends to look forward to. Here are some activities that your kiddos can engage in to help get that energy out in the cold, winter months! These activities are also great to do after school as well; kids are expected to sit for hours at a time in school, come home, and sit for hours again to finish homework. Give them a little break in-between coming home and doing homework! Their concentration and attention span will be better during homework and their stress levels will go down as well!
Do some bear walks, snake walks, wheelbarrow walks, crab walks- what else can you think of?
Get silly and build an obstacle course in your living room. Go over/under chairs, climb on couch cushions that are set on an angle to get up to the couch, climb through tunnel & jumping over books or pots & pans
Go Outside Anyway!!
The cold won't hurt in small doses… bundle up and walk!
Download a kids yoga app or a cardio app (Super stretch and Sworkit Kids are two of our favorites)
Give a Massage
Get out that lavender essential oil, mix 1 drop with coconut oil and massage away!
Tug of War
Mix it up! Try “pull of war” or “push of war” with rope and/or gym resistance bands
Go Cross Fit Style
Try some wall push ups & have a contest amongst siblings or with parents! You’d be surprised how tired you get after just a few!
Indoor Play Spaces
Get out of the house and go to one of the indoor play places around town! You can see a comprehensive list here
Who is up for the challenge?!? Mom?? Dad??
Parents vs kids is always a fun one!
(My favorite one!) Give yourself a break and have the kids help with housework! Housework can be great for heavy work and you’ll get some time to do work or just relax! (Vacuum, carry groceries, mopping, sweeping)
Have a family workout using gym equipment at home such as large exercise ball (throw it, push on it with resistance), weighted balls (roll them, throw them, put them in a container) or light weights (1-5 lbs depending on the child’s size/age; light them, move them)
Drink! (wait, not what you're thinking!)
This is going to sound silly BUT – have them drink thick liquids (smoothies with bananas or avocado to thicken are best… and hide those greens in there as well!)
Brittany Smith is the mom to an energetic 16 month little man as well as a pediatric occupational therapist and co-owner of Jump Ahead Pediatric Therapy in Jersey City.