For much of the year, encouraging children to be physically active is incredibly simple: you can go out hiking, cycle through local beauty spots, or play in the backyard – all of which are incredibly beneficial.
However, by the time winter rolls around, the options for physical activity are somewhat limited. With the weather turning on you and twilight descending almost as soon as school lessons have finished each day, ensuring your children get the exercise they need is suddenly far more problematic.
While it is still only fall, we all know winter will be here before we know it, so now is a great time to investigate options for exercise throughout the coldest months of the year…
Swimming is often seen as an activity for the summer, with outdoor pools playing a huge part in many families’ summer activities. However, indoor swimming facilities mean that swimming can genuinely be considered a year-round activity, and provide the ideal opportunity for your kids to practice their technique and build confidence in a safe, secure environment. Furthermore, with options for baby swimming lessons ensuring even the youngest can take part, indoor swimming can be fun for all the family – making it a great, accessible choice for a winter activity.
Soft play activity centers
Soft play areas are a great choice for winter physical activity, ensuring that children can play energetically in a safe, friendly environment. The one downside of this choice is that soft play centers tend to be few and far between, so regular visits may be prohibitively expensive if you are many miles from your closest center. If this is the case, then you could team up with other parents to arrange regular visits as a group so that you can split the gas costs between you.
This may seem like an odd suggestion; yoga seems like a very adult discipline, but it actually has a number of benefits for children, so it’s worth finding out if your children may be interested enough to give it a try. You could attend a formal yoga class with your children, or simply clear space in your living room and encourage your kids to follow along with a YouTube video. The one below, for example, is themed around the ‘Trolls’ movie…
The three options above have all focused on finding indoor-friendly activities that can be engaged with regardless of how poor the weather outside is. However, it’s also worth mentioning that traditional winter activities that take place outdoors – such as ice skating or sledding – can be a great physical activity too, so it’s helpful to create a schedule that mixes and matches depending on what the weather is doing on any given day. This allows you to create a flexible, kid-friendly program that is full of a variety of options that can see you and your family through to spring – enjoy!