When snuggle season hits and it is too chilly to play outside, it can be tricky to get kids the exercise they need to shake out the wiggles and keep an active lifestyle. Too much time indoors can make little ones restless and ornery. Not to mention, sitting still all day is not the healthiest option for growing bodies. So, if your kids are over the indoor exercise routines or simply not into it, you might need a few tricks up your sleeve to make moving exciting. To make this task a little bit easier, we have put together our favorite indoor activities for kids, filled with winter exercise ideas that are built just for those moments that are not safe to play outside. The possibilities are endless so let’s get moving!
There might just be no better way to get energy out than games! Instead of pulling out tablets or sitting down to a board game, try out a game that requires movement instead. Whether it is twister, cup bowling, hopscotch with tape, or charades, there are so many indoor movement activities to keep active while having a blast. Kids can act out their favorite sports or animals and have parents or siblings guess what they are. Or, maybe they want to pretend the floor is lava and jump around on “rocks” fashioned out of tape. Whatever you choose, games can be a wonderful way to engage the body and the mind too!
Engage your little one’s creative side by building an indoor playground tailored to their curiosities. You can use pillows and blankets to make a fort and have a snowball fight with socks or even get a tunnel for them to crawl through. Create a theme and a story for your fort, maybe zoo, space, or castle to get kids excited and deep in the moment. For something different, shake it up by using toilet paper or party streamers to create a “laser” obstacle course. With a “web” before them, kids have to navigate through carefully without breaking any of the paper, or “touching a laser.” You can go the extra mile and use hula hoops for them to jump through. Soon, they will have their very own obstacle course. Creating their own story and building a space to match can not only offer some much needed movement, but also offer kids a paradise for their imagination!
If your little ones are sitting inside by the window dreaming of summer, why not revive the classics and bring the warm weather spirit indoors! Arrange a living room picnic or pretend that you’re hosting a backyard BBQ. Get them moving with all of their favorite ways to play outside. Creating a competition can be the most fun way to get engaged in indoor exercise for kids. So, stretch out in a hallway with crab walk races or wheelbarrow races, where a sibling or parent holds their feet as they walk on their hands. Or, have a three-legged or potato sack race with pillow cases or sleeping bags and let the kiddos hop across the finish line. If you have limited space, set up limbo instead or pull out some hula hoops to see who can keep it up the longest! Bringing summer time into winter is a great way to show your kids that they can be active and have fun year-round.
Chores can be, well, a chore! But, if you are looking to tidy up and get your little ones moving, it can actually be a lot of fun. Here’s how… Pull up a big timer video on your TV or mobile device to make it into a game and challenge your child to beat the clock! If you have siblings, let them work together. You can pick two rooms and race your little ones to see who wins. You might be surprised just how much fun you and your kiddos have cleaning up. Once the job is done, take the kids to the kitchen for some cooking or baking to keep them on their feet and moving around. With a parent’s guidance, they can race to the fridge or cupboards to help get things. They can move back and forth to tidy up or help with dishes. You can also let them get involved with stirring, cracking, and even measuring to use their motor skills, learn new tasks, and most of all, bond with you!
Who doesn’t like to dance? Crank up your little one’s favorite music and have a dance party! A game of freeze dance or ribbon dancing can make the perfect indoor activities for toddlers. For older kids, try out a game of dance telephone where one person can start a small dance routine and siblings and parents turn around one at a time in a chain to try to copy it. See how much the dance changes person to person! If you have teens that are all over dances on social media, maybe you want to offer to learn one together! Or, try out your own skills working together to choreograph your own routine. For the fashionable kiddos, act out a fashion show and watch their faces light up with sass and confidence. Nothing boosts the mood like movement and music, so go ahead and get groovy!
At Coastal Kids Pediatrics, we know that indoor movement activities can be essential to kids’ physical and mental health, especially during the colder months. With stormy or drizzly weather, getting outside to play can be a challenge. So, we hope these fun winter exercise ideas help you get your little one moving. For more tips, don’t hesitate to reach out to your passionate Coastal Kids pediatrician. To make an appointment visit us at www.coastalkids.com.