Four Tips for Keeping Kids Active in the Winter

The days are getting shorter and the nights are getting colder as we begin the winter months. During this time it is so tempting to put on cozy clothes and curl up with a blanket in front of the television, but as parents it is important to fight the urge every now and then and do something active in order to be good role models for our kids!

“Maintaining a healthy weight is just as important for children as it is for adults, and the best way to do that is to keep them active,” says Stacy Meyer, MD and pediatric endocrinologist at Dayton Children’s Hospital and “Dr. Mom Squad” blogger. “In fact, it is recommended that most children have a minimum of one hour of sweat-inducing activity every day.”

During the cold months this can be difficult to achieve. Listed below are four tips for keeping kids active in the winter:

1. Enjoy the great outdoors

Although it is definitely colder, winter is still a great time to go outside and get active. Family hikes at places such as Yellow Springs and the Narrows are great ideas when there isn’t much snow on the ground. With a short drive you can go tubing, skiing or snowboarding and for something a little closer to the holidays, consider taking the family on a walk to look at Christmas light displays. On the days where there are ample amounts of snow, bundle the kids up for a snowball fight, or find a hill and have some sled races!

2. Interactive games

If you are able to, investing in an active gaming system that requires movement to play is a great way to keep the family active during the winter months. Don’t worry though, cheaper alternatives are right around the corner with a little creativity. For example, try challenging the kids to a dance-off or plan an indoor obstacle course or a treasure hunt.

3. Community opportunities

For indoor options outside of the home, just look to the community for fun opportunities.

Dayton is full of places with fun activities for the whole family such as ice skating and roller skating rinks, bowling alleys, laser tag or an indoor trampoline park.

4. Winter sports/classes

Another great indoor option for the winter is to sign up for group classes and sports. Kids can choose from an array of team sports such as basketball, hockey and indoor soccer. Additionally there are plenty of options for group or private lessons in ice-skating, martial arts, gymnastics and dance. Call your local community center, or visit their website, for class options and pricing.

Whatever it is you choose to do to stay active in the winter, make sure to follow appropriate safety guidelines. For indoor activities make sure there is enough room to move around safely, and always remember to dress properly when going outside, with warm and dry layers that will keep the body warm.

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