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6 Ways to Keep Kids Active During Winter Months

During the long, cold months of winter, it’s only natural to want to take things a bit slower, spend more quiet time relaxing and reflecting. But not for kids! They have the same boundless energy they do in the warmer months when they can easily run and play outside. It’s important to keep antsy kids active in the winter, too, even if you have to be a little more creative in finding ways to keep them moving.

Cameron Pediatrics has come up with a few winter activities to keep your kids active and moving during winter.

Get Outside

Yes, it’s cold. But most days are not dangerously cold, so bundle everyone up and get outside. Whether it’s a walk through your neighborhood or a hike through the park, getting your heart-rate up will help lower the chances of getting sick. You can always turn any walk into an adventure by making a treasure-hunt style list of things to find along the way. Even a short stroll makes a real difference.

Take Play Indoors

Winter doesn’t mean an end to sports and other activities. Consider letting your child try something new in winter such as gymnastics, dance classes, indoor soccer or basketball. For information about area leagues, contact the YMCA in your area or check to see what seasonal sports your children’s school offers.

Make a Play Area at Home

Whether it’s in the basement, garage or maybe even the dining room, designate an area where it’s okay for kids to be active. Setting up a specific place, even if it’s just for a few hours each day, will help your kids feel more comfortable about getting some exercise and movement in at home. Move anything unsafe or likely to break out of the way and let them dance, tumble or run around as they like.

Limit Screen Time

When everyone is stuck indoors, it’s easy to make unhealthy choices such as too much time watching TV or playing video games. Try to limit inactive screen time. One idea is to rent yoga or exercise videos from the library that they can do in front of the TV. Or, switch to video games that require movement, such as dance videos. Or better yet – turn off the screen, turn up the music and have a dance party with the whole family!

Make Family Time More Active

Instead of movies or a trip to your favorite pizza place, make family time more active. Go bowling or ice skating. Try something new like a rock climbing wall or an indoor trampoline facility.  If there’s snow, go sledding or cross-country skiing. If possible, maybe now is the time to join a gym that has activities for kids, too. A walk around a mall with an extended visit to the play area is a fun and free way for everyone to get a bit of movement in. Kids mimic your actions, so when they see everyone getting in on the action, they’re more likely to be active, too.

Take Advantage of All Your Community Offers

Cameron is proud to be a part of Steuben County, an area filled with lakes and lots of opportunities to play outdoors – in any weather. But regardless of where you live, chances are there’s more out there than you may know about. Visit your community’s tourism website for ideas, activity schedules, and free resources to help keep your kids active and moving just about anywhere.

Reviewed by: Lindsay Ellert, Cameron Pediatrics

Lindsay Ellert is a board-certified pediatric nurse practitioner with experience in complex pediatrics, integrated health and holistic health. She is now accepting new patients. To schedule an appointment, call Cameron Pediatrics at (260) 667-5690.

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