Wintertime can be a little rough on families with small children. Cold weather, rough roads, and shorter days are a recipe for kids to be cooped up and quickly grow restless. Even in the winter, it’s important for children to be active for roughly 60 minutes a day to increase fitness and avoid weight gain. So, how do you get them outside and running around during a season that lends itself to indoor activities?
The answer lies in planning cold weather activities that will have your children begging to go outdoors. Making the snow and chilly temperatures a part of the fun is crucial to keeping this season fun and your children healthy. So put on those hats, button up those coats, and make sure you have a few layers of socks on in those boots before you get outside. Here are five fun ways to get your kids outside this winter:
Create a Scavenger Hunt
The world can truly be beautiful in the winter, as ice and glistening snow turn the outside world into a real-life snow globe. Help your children appreciate the beauty of this season and learn about nature by creating a scavenger hunt. Fill the list with seasonal-appropriate items such as pine needles, lost mittens, acorns, berries, and (photos of) winter-loving birds.
Take your sledding to the next level by going tobogganing this winter. Find an ice shoot at a nearby state park and head for the hills. This slightly more intense version of sledding will thrill the more adventurous and older children in your family. If that sounds like too much effort or if there are no toboggan shoots close to you, just find the tallest hills you can and soar down those.
Make Art in the Snow
If your children are bursting with creativity, take them outside on a particularly snowy day and have them decorate using snow. The easiest way to do this is to have them build — what else? — a snowman in your yard, complete with eyes, a nose, and arms. But there’s plenty more they can do: Make some ice cubes using colored water so your children can build miniature ice forts in the snow, or fill water bottles with dye to turn your yard into a tie-dyed winter wonderland.
Organize a Neighborhood Snowball Fight
Are your kids just dying to go outside and run around? Bundle them up, call up their friends, and organize a neighborhood-wide snowball brawl complete with teams, forts, and neutral zones. This wide-spanning activity will get your kids running and building, burning off tons of energy in the process. Just watch the snowball fight carefully to make sure ice and rocks stay far away from the snowballs and nobody gets hurt.
Try Ice Skating, Skiing, or Snowboarding
Pick up a wintery hobby to get your kids regularly outside and active this winter. Though getting your family started with ice skating, skiing, or snowboarding may be a little pricey, it can be worthwhile if it’s a new sport they can truly embrace. At the very least, try out these classic cold weather activities at least once to have your kids experience something new and different than your everyday sports.