***Our spotlight today is brought to you by our friend Ashley Cunningham author over at Building Healthy Legacies. We love doing life with her and her family of three boys! Today she shares with us how she keeps those boys entertained and active during the winter months!***
Winter break can often feel more like a chore than a vacation once cabin fever kicks in. Here is a list of 5 easy and fun ways to help your little ones keep their activity levels high once the temperature outside drops.
First off, clear the space and remove/secure anything breakable. Your kids will be running around, and accidents happen.
1. Obstacle course
• Painters Tape (the more colors the better, but only one is needed)
Test your kids balance and ability to follow directions. Use your creativity to design an obstacle course on the floor with painter’s tape. Each section can have its own rules (some ideas listed below) Our boys LOVED this, and the best part is that cleanup is easy.
Some ideas for different sections are:
• Walk on the tape like tight rope
• Hop over lines
• Hop from Square to square (like hopscotch)
• Walk backwards
• Jump as high as you can (X marks the spot)
• Right foot can only touch Blue, Left foot can only touch green
• Let the kids design their own part
• Different holiday/seasonal themes
2. Dance party (Make Quick Playlist)
Get your kids up and active with a dance party! It’s a great way to get them moving. Turn on the radio or find a kid appropriate playlist on YouTube. Just make sure to watch out for commercials. Also I found I have to minimize the window the second I turn it on to avoid our dance party becoming a “screen time party”. Here is a link to a playlist I made for my little ones. We have doing this every morning for about a week and a half now and it’s still a hit! And it definitely helps put all of us in a good mood.
3. Balloon Catch
While lots of parents don’t allow balls in the house, balloons make for a fun, cheap and (almost) risk free alternative. Balloons also slow down movements to a controllable level. This makes it easier for kids to learn and master new motor skills while improving their hand eye coordination. Obviously just giving kids a bunch of balloons will keep them happy and active on their own for a while. But once that free play time starts to wind down, here are some options for some structured fun too.
Ideas to play with:
• Have them bounce a balloon off of their knees
• Try alternating knees
• Practice throwing to each other.
• Keep it off the ground
• Balancing it on the back of their hands
4. Red light/Green Light and other classic recess games
Red light/Green light across the living room is a classic that requires nothing more than the space to do it. This works for a multitude of classic recess games.
One of our favorites to play is “Mr. Fox”. The child starts across the room from you, and says “Mr. Fox, what time is it?” then you respond with a time such as “One o’clock” and they take that many steps toward you. Once they are in reach, when they ask the time, you reply “time for dinner” and chase them back to the starting line.
5. Painters tape bean bag toss.
User painters tape and make a few squares on the floor and a line to throw behind. Have your little ones practice their throws. If you have bean bags, GREAT, if not, socks tied together works too.
And there you have my top 5 ways to keep kids active indoors! I hope you all have a warm, happy and healthy holiday break.
About Ashley Cunningham
Ashley is a wife, mom of 3 boys, and an ACE certified personal trainer. Her passion in life is to help children and their families lead healthy and happy lives. And the founder of http://www.buildinghealthylegacies.com