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8 Healthy Cold-Weather Activities for Kids

Child jumping on colorful playground trampoline. Kids jump in inflatable bounce castle on kindergarten birthday party Activity and play center for young child. Little boy playing outdoors in summer; blog: 9 Healthy Cold-Weather Activities for Kids

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, only 1 in 3 children is physically active every day. Many factors contribute to children not getting the recommended 60 minutes of activity each day. This includes being drawn to digital screens and falling into bad habits. When the temperature drops, it can be even more tempting for kids to stay indoors and camp out on the couch. However, exercise is still important in the winter. To help your kids stay active this winter, try some of these cold-weather activities.

1. Neighborhood Walks

Unless temperatures are extremely low, you don’t have to stay inside just because it’s winter. Bundle up in layers and walk around your neighborhood. Or if your town has trails, take the opportunity to explore while getting some fresh air. Talk about what looks different in the winter than it does the rest of the year. That way you’re getting exercise and encouraging a bit of learning about the way things change through the seasons.

2. Winter Scavenger Hunts

If you want to add a little bit of extra entertainment to your winter walks, you can make up a scavenger hunt for kids. Make a list of things they can find in nature during the winter and have them check those items off along the walk. Or you can freeze colored water in fun shapes and have kids look for “ice jewels” around the yard or park. Another take on this activity is a winter treasure hunt where you create a map and clues to lead kids to a cold-weather treat.

3. Head to the Park

Again, unless temperatures are too cold, then a trip to the park is a great idea for kids who have dressed appropriately for the weather. Just be sure to check on them periodically to make sure they aren’t too cold because some kids will keep playing through discomfort if they’re having fun. An added bonus of going to the park or playground in the winter is that it will probably be less crowded.

4. Try Winter Sports

If it snows where you live, then take advantage of the winter wonderland and try winter sports. These cold-weather activities will infuse lots of fun into much-needed exercise. If your budget and location allow, skiing is an excellent exercise that’s also fun and thrilling for kids. Outdoor skating rinks often open in the winter, even if the area does not get cold enough to freeze water naturally. For those who get snow on a regular basis, you can hold a backyard version of the winter Olympics. Have kids compete in activities like snow jumping, snowball throwing, and sledding.

5. Puddle Jumping

If you get more winter rain than snow, then you can go out for some puddle jumping. Outfit the kids in waterproof clothes that can be easily washed and waterproof boots (Wellingtons are especially good for this activity). Then let kids run around the yard or park and splash in the muddy puddles. It will be a mess for sure, but if you prepare for it, it’s well worth it for the fun and exercise.

6. Explore Locally

Winter is a great time to play tourist in your own town because there are fewer actual tourists around. Go to local museums or landmarks where you and the kids can walk around without worrying about large crowds. If you live close enough to a larger city, take a day trip there and see the sights.

7. Indoor Play Areas

When it’s super chilly, heading to an indoor play area is great for getting in some cold-weather activities. Do some research and find indoor playgrounds, trampoline parks, and other play areas near your home. See if your local rec center or community fitness center has indoor basketball courts available for play during the day. Your family gym may have classes appropriate for kids to participate in. You can also look into a kid’s gym.

8. Find Active Videos

Reducing overall screen time should be a goal for parents. However, you can make some of their allotted time with their devices as little more productive. Find video series or apps that encourage kids to get up and move. There are so many videos that kids can dance or move along with. Just make sure these activities are included in their allowed screen time, not added to that time.

At Kernodle Pediatrics we pride ourselves on providing comprehensive care to children from birth through 18 years old. If you have questions or concerns about how to keep your child active and healthy, call us at (336) 538-2416 to make an appointment.

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