In the summer kids run, jump, swim and play outside and they get tons of exercise but what can you do to help kids get exercise when it’s cold outside. Actually if it’s not too cold out you can still get them out there for some exercise just make sure they are bundled up well and dressed for the weather. But what can you do when it is absolutely impossible to take them out? Here are some pretty neat ideas to help you get them some exercise on those blustery cold and wet days this winter.
1) Dance with them
Yes you heard me correctly! Get off your tush and turn on some music and dance. If you are dancing with them I can almost bet they won’t even care if it’s your choice of music or theirs. What they are going to be excited about is the time you are spending with them.
2) Join a gym
This may sound like a strange place to take a child but if you check around some gyms offer an area for kids to run and jump around. They may even have some climbing toys or balancing beams for your child to get some exercise on while you are off doing the grown up ones.
3) Make your own gym
If joining a gym is not in your budget then try making your own at home if you have just a little extra room. Throw a blanket on the floor and call it a tumbling mat and have them do some flips for you. You can even count how many flips they can do in five or ten minutes. Jumping jacks are fun for kids and again have a race to see how many they can do in a certain amount of time.
4) Exercise with a ball
Every child loves a ball!! I even love balls!! They are colorful and round and bouncy and just all around fun. There are tons of ways to get exerciser using a ball. Make sure that you grab one that is a good size for your little one. They should be able to sit on it with their feet flat on the floor with their knees and hips at a 90 degree angle. First you might just have them try sitting on it. It’s not the easiest thing to do because they are round and they will roll out from under you if your not careful! After they have mastered sitting on a ball have them try picking one leg up off the floor. It’s not as easy as it sounds especially for a little one. Putting the ball under their stomach while they have their feet stretched out and trying to balance is good for the older kids to try. Just make sure they keep their arms on the floor. We don’t want to see anyone get hurt here!
5) Lift weights
Please be careful with this one I don’t want to see a little child get their toes smashed. And you should check with your pediatrician about a safe weight for your child to lift. You don’t need any actual weights to lift something, if you have a plastic bottle or two sitting around just add some water and you have some weights. The weight of the bottle can be made heavier or lighter depending on the size of your child. Just add more or less water depending on what your child can lift.
6) Have some friends over
If your kid is glued to an electronic device and you can’t get them moving maybe it’s time to cut a deal. Have them invite a friend over but they have to promise not to turn on the t.v., computer or any other electronic device. Trust me those kids will find something to do and if they are doing then they are moving!
7) Play animal
Kids just love animals and everything about them so why not have them act like one! It’s fun to jump like a frog, run on all fours like a dog, jump like a kangaroo or you could even have them clasp their hands together, keeping their arms straight and swing them high back and forth just like an elephant!!
8) Take a class
There are plenty of classes out there that your child can join to get them moving. Sign them up for a gymnastics, dance or martial arts class. The local YMCA is a great place to start looking and sometimes can be a little more affordable. Not only will it get them moving but they meet a new friend or two and just maybe you will too.
There are two very important things I remember when it comes to exercising and my kids. One is it’s a good idea not to tell them it is excising. Some kids will just not want to do it if you say the word! So use some creative thinking to get kids to exercise in the winter. Make it a game not a chore. Another thing is kids learn by example. If your sitting on the couch with your eyes glued to the t.v., tablet or phone then they are going to do the same thing. So get up and move and let’s get our kids exercising this winter!
Looking for more great ideas for winter? Check out winter guide right here.