Enjoying the outdoors during the winter months makes the season fun. Snow shoeing, skiing, sleigh riding and ice skating are terrific for getting your family out of the house and encouraging physical activity. But what about the days when it is too cold go outside? How do you get help your kids get the recommended 60 minutes of daily exercise?
When the weather outside is frightful, you need fun indoor physical activity ideas for kids. As a mom of two young children, ages 6 and 9, I wanted to find activities that engage kids for more than a few minutes and exercises that tire them out. Here are some of the activities I found…and more importantly here is what my kids had to say about them!
We enjoyed these “get off the couch games” from MyParenting.org, which help kids boost energy, increase physically activity and even work on their balance. Unlike similar lists on other sites, these ideas incorporate extra lessons such as reading and preparing a healthful snack. With activities for all age groups, most families are sure to find a few things on this list that work for them. Kids’ take: “These are fun. Can we try them all?”
My kids have a game console and love the dance games. I am always hesitant to recommend them to others as I don’t want parents to have to spend money if they don’t already have video games in their home. Thanks to this Just Dance series on YouTube, however, your young children can dance along to their favorite Disney songs and more for free! Kids’ take: There were no words…they just started dancing!
Older children and kids that like to dance may like Zumba videos. These high energy dances that are 4-5 minutes long each encourage kids to work on their coordination while being active at the same time. Kids’ take: “Whoa…that was tiring! Love the music!”
Households with “on-demand” cable can take advantage of the many free fitness videos offered, which may be especially appealing for older kids. Link together a few and before you know it, you will have a 30-45 minutes fitness routine that rivals any local gym class…all without leaving the house! Please note that if you find a fitness routine that seems above your family’s level then you should pass on it. I love these on-demand exercise videos because they challenge my children. Kids’ take: “A little hard, but good.”
At the end of the day, the most important thing is that you get your family moving! If nothing else, throw on some tunes and start dancing for at least 45-60 minutes. Keep it fun and your kids will be focused on having a good time…not exercise.