How to keep your kids active in the winter

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winter_snowshoe_morneaushepell_socialmediaThrough these winter months it is very tempting to stay indoors curled up on the couch with some hot cocoa. Despite the below zero temperatures, it is still important for kids to spend time outside in the fresh crisp winter air. There are many outdoor activities that are unique to this wonderful season, so get those kids all bundled up and send them outdoors to play. If you are looking for ideas for fun winter activities that will keep the kids outside for more than five minutes check out the list below.

  1. Do you want to build a snowman? Before heading outdoors have your child draw their unique snowman and go around the house collecting his accessories. Collecting, packing, rolling, and lifting snow are excellent two handed activities that require coordination, core and upper body strength. If the kids are having fun you could always make an entire snowman family.
  2. Skating: Ice skating is an excellent activity to work on proprioception, balance, and learning to fall and get right back up again. Not only is it a great full body exercise, but it is a very good opportunity for your kids to strengthen their ankle stabilizing muscles. Make sure they have the correct protective equipment on, and watch how they find their footing on the ice.
  3. Tobogganing: There is something so exhilarating about rushing down a hill at top speed. Going down the hill your child will have to use his/her proprioception and core strength to stay balanced in the sled. The most challenging part of this activity will be to carry the sled back up the hill for the next round! Go down the hill solo, or in pairs, you can even race each other. If you don’t have a hill nearby, try packing snow to cover a set of stairs to create your own mini hill.
  4. Build an Igloo: Another great activity for core and upper body strength. Gather plastic bins and spray them with cooking spray, then have the kids pack it full with snow. Flip it over to release the brick, and try to arrange them to build an igloo or a house. You can even use your beach pails to build snow castles, just like Elsa.
  5. Make a Snow Angel: Work on your child’s coordination by making snow angels. When it comes time for jumping jacks in the spring they will have a head start at mastering that movement.
  6. Have a Snow Ball Fight: Have your child build a stock pile of snow balls before the start of the fight. They can even try and build themselves a barrier to hide behind. Make sure you provide a moving target so they get lots of exercise running through the thick snow. This activity can be fun for the whole family, and will help your child work on their throwing skills and give them target practice.
  7. Shoveling: What seems like a chore to you, may be fun for your child. Imagine what your little helper could do with a tiny shovel. Give them a small area to work on while you tackle the real work. Shoveling will work on coordination, balance, and core strength.
  8. Draw in the Snow: Find an unmarked patch of snow and have your child draw a picture or write their name by stepping in the snow. They can jump to create spaces between letters. For a more colourful experience add food colouring to water in a spray/squirt bottle and let them paint the snow.

Throw on your Frozen soundtrack, snow pants, mittens, a scarf, and a hat and go have some fun outdoors this winter. Your kids will be having such a good time working up a sweat, they won’t even want to come inside for their hot cocoa rewards (don’t forget the marshmallows).

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