Overall wellness depends on staying active in every season. Check out our fun ideas for keeping kids active no matter what Mother Nature sends our way and then, instead of letting your little cubs hibernate—bundle them up and get them moving!
Warm weather venues. Just because it’s cold outside is no reason to avoid popular warm weather venues like zoos, public farms or national parks. This time of year is a great opportunity for little ones to learn the ins and outs of animal life in any season or to check out the natural landscape during a different time of year. With a bit of research and a lot of layers, kids are sure to enjoy these places just as much as they do when temps are warmer.
Make it competitive. If your area is snowbound, use this time as the kickoff to a “silliest snowman” or “best snow fort” contest. Decorate snowmen with household items that can handle the elements (or that you don’t need back!) and give them funny shaped containers—like pots and pans—to build the snow bricks for their forts. Kids will have so much fun dreaming up and building their creations, they won’t even realize all the great things they’re doing for their bodies by being active. Call the neighbors and get everyone in on the fun!
Create traditions. If your kiddos are sluggish when it comes to the motivation to get outside in winter months, give them a good reason to do it. Find a great local sledding hill, pick up inexpensive plastic disc sleds and then pack up a cold weather picnic. Thermoses of soup and hot chocolate (make your own with healthier dark chocolate cocoa and organic milk!) topped off with a tin of (healthier) holiday cookies are sure to get them excited and begging for the same outing next weekend! The best part? You’ll be creating memories to last a lifetime.
Get out with them. What’s the number one way to get your kids excited to go out and play in cold weather? Get out there with them. If they can do it, you can, too! Join in on all our ideas, from sledding to snowman-building, and your body will benefit just as much as theirs will. Before you know it, you’ll forget about the temperature and be focused on and present for all the family fun.
Know the limits. While there are no official standards or guidelines for how cold is too cold for children to play outside, it all boils down to common sense. The American Academy of Pediatrics indicates that younger kids will experience ill-effects sooner than older kids, so watch them carefully. Make sure scarves, hats and gloves stay dry and in-place to protect their young skin. And remember, if it’s too cold for you when you’re all bundled up, it’s definitely too cold for your kids.