We all know kids have a lot of energy—and the winter months can get really, really long when everyone is cooped up inside. While there are some great activities to do outside during the cold months of the year, for many kids, they’ll be inside much of the winter. Even if you’re stuck inside, there is still a ton of ways to be active, burn off some energy and keep those little bodies healthy!
Make an obstacle course. Give the kids a room to “take over” and let them build their own obstacle course. Here are some ideas:
- Place pillows on the floor a foot or so apart and jump over them without touching the pillow.
- Attach a string from one end of the room to another (try using furniture to attach it to) and limbo or crawl under it without touching the string.
- Make a tunnel or cave to crawl through by lining up some chairs and throwing a sheet across them.
- Wear a big silly hat throughout the course—if it falls off, you have to start over!
- Lay a hula hoop on the ground and jump in and out of the hoop seven times.
- Walk 10 feet with a beanbag on your head.
- Fill a bucket with rice or pasta and bury an object inside—search through the bucket as quickly as possible to find it!
- End the course with a ball toss into a basket (use an empty waste basket or laundry basket).
Let the kids get creative and come up with their own ideas for a good course!
Blast music and boogie. This is a great way for the kids to get their bodies movin’! Put on some tunes (Pandora has some great kid-friendly stations; search for “Radio for Kids”) and let the kids groove to the music. Not only will they have a great time, but they’ll get some much needed exercise.
Turn dancing into a game. Put on some tunes and tell the kids they have to stop and hold their position when the music stops. Pause the music from time to time and have the kids hold their position for five to ten seconds!
Play some classics. There are a ton of games that can be adapted to play indoors in an open area. Think: Duck, Duck, Goose, Simon Says or Musical Chairs. You could also create an indoor hopscotch using painter’s tape to create the squares.
Host a fitness competition. In an open area, create different fitness activity stations. You could set out a jump rope and a hula hoop, and then make a few other stations with activities like push-ups, jumping jacks or somersaults. Set goals for each station and have the kids go through the stations one-by-one. You could choose to have a winner—whoever was the fastest, for example—or you could just make it for fun!
Go hallway bowling. This is a perfect game for a hallway. Use plastic cups or empty water bottles and set them up in a triangular formation. Use a medium-sized rubber ball as the bowling ball. For an added challenge, fill up the water bottles with some water!