Keep Your Kids Active During Winter
Okay, let’s be honest. Some of us would be more than happy to live out the winter under a doona with a good book or the television on, existing on cups of hot chocolate and endless pieces of toast with jam. Or is that just me? In reality, though, if we put our children through that, there would be crumbs on the doona, squabbles over the remote control, overdue library fines, and someone would still have to leave the house to get milk. Although it might be instinctual to hibernate, in our heart of hearts we know that staying active is the better way to go. All of us, especially the kids, can do with good healthy doses of outside time, and a bit of a chill in the air is no excuse. So how to keep everyone warm, active and happy? Here are some ideas to get you revved up.
Take a Hike
In many parts of the country, winter is a great time to get out to the national parks. There are often fewer people about, and the lack of heat makes walking and hiking extra-enjoyable. If you are lucky enough to be near snow, you will need some extra gear, but in most places, a beanie, warm outerwear and thick socks will be suffice to keep you comfortable once you get going.
Signs of the Season Hunt
If you are stuck in the suburbs, there is still plenty to enjoy. Involve your kids in a kind of scavenger hunt, asking them what wintery things they notice in the neighbourhood. Are there any bare trees about? Leaves in the gutters? Flags for football teams flying over balconies? You will be surprised what those observant little eyes notice. Gather sticks and stones as you go, to use for craft later at home.
Dance it Off
If the chill outside is too much to bear, you can still make sure everyone gets moving by clearing a space and pumping some tunes. You might even like to get dressed up, either fancy or silly (or somewhere in between) before busting some moves. These days everyone with a phone can be a DJ, so you probably have all you need to have quite the party.
Most kids don’t have to be asked twice. Rug up, get outside and toss a ball around, or stay indoors and throw balloons or rolled up socks. They won’t be fussy, especially with mum or dad joining in the fun. When they start to wind down, throw a blanket over the clothes line, or the dining room table, and hide out with them for a bit. When that gets old, repeat.
These short, cold, days are fleeting, so don’t let them become a blur of cartoons and commercials. The whole family will get through winter happier and healthier with regular intervals of active, outdoor play. Brrrrr-ing it on!