Physical and mental activity are both important for the well-being of kids and essential to a healthy lifestyle. In the winter months, it is very easy to fall into the habit of lessening activities and exercise since you are indoors more often.
The American Medical Association recommends that children get 60 minutes of exercise a day. Keeping your kids physically active year-round is important for numerous reasons. It reduces the chances of them being overweight, increases strength in muscles and bones, improves posture, releases stress and it can even help improve concentration in school.
It is also important for your child to exercise their brain. Reading, educational board games and crafts are easy ways to get your kids to use their imagination.
So, what ways can you get your kids up and moving and keep their minds active when the temperature take a dip? See our suggestions below for keeping your kids mentally and physically active in the winter.
Go Bowling or Ice Skating
Bowling is a great way to keep active and it provides some healthy family competition! Go out the bowling alley to enjoy a few games. If you don’t mind cooler temperatures, you can venture to an ice skating rink for a fun winter activity that can actually burn about twice as many calories as walking.
Create a Reading Chart
Put together a reading chart and set goals for your child for how many minutes per day they read. Have little prizes or rewards for your child when they reach or exceed their goals. This will increase their literacy and help foster a love of reading.
Visit the a Community or Fitness Center
Many community centers and gyms have classes specifically for kids. There are even some gyms just for kids! Look into things like indoor swimming, dance, gymnastics or martial arts. There are places that have winter sports teams for kids, such as soccer, volleyball or basketball. Some centers even have art classes or offer chess lessons. You may even find classes that your whole family can participate in!
Have a Crafting Day
Plan a day or afternoon of crafts with your child. Crafting helps kids to learn to follow directions, use their imagination and learn new skills. Plus, your child will love being creative together with you!
If you don’t mind the cold weather, get out and play outside. Go for a walk, build a snowman, go sled riding, or take the family skiing, snow tubing, or snowboarding. Older kids can even help you shovel snow outside. Just be sure to bundle up!
Plan a Family Game Night
Create some friendly family competition with a game night! Games a fun way for kids to exercise their minds. Board games can teach important social skills, such as communicating verbally, sharing, taking turns and enjoying interaction with others.
Go to the Mall
Walking around a mall can provide a moderate amount of exercise and you can get some shopping done too! If possible, take the stairs instead of escalators or elevators.
Whatever you do to get your kids moving this winter, be sure that you’re staying active as well, so that you can set a healthy example. Have fun!
Written by Lauren Morelli
Director, Marketing and Communications
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