There are many things that we are required to do as the clocks go back, the nights draw in, and cooler temperatures move in. This varies across the country depending on the microclimate you reside within, but here in Kansas City we have to winterize irrigation systems, take plants inside to protect them for the winter months, and complete the painful task of leaf removal. Those of you with large, old oak trees will know exactly what I am talking about here…
Despite making all of these adjustments for “things” leading into the winter months, there is something much more important that we need to prioritize: what to do with our kids! This applies to children of all ages, as here in KC it’s typically too cold to go outside during the day with toddlers, and it’s already dark by the time older students get done with school activities. As I am a mother of 2 young boys, with a third child due next month, here are 10 activities that you can do to keep your young children active during the not so nice part of the year. Enjoy!
- Create space in your garage for them to kick a ball, and ride a bike around.
- Set up an obstacle course in your basement
- Visit a museum – there are so many small children’s museums, many that you may
not even know about! Search your area and check reviews for good ones that are close by.
- If you still have indoor malls close by, these are typically quiet during the day and provide your little ones with plenty of space to run around and get some energy out of their systems.
- Indoor games with modified equipment to prevent damage to valuable antiques and decorations – play with small wiffle balls, foam soccer balls, and this Hover ball is a great indoor toy as well!
- Take an inflatable pool and fill it with balls to turn it into your very own ball pit
- Trips to your local community center, swimming pool, YMCA etc.
- Buy a simple trampoline that will keep them entertained for hours at a time – just be prepared for some serious fistfights when multiple children want to bounce at the same time.
- Have them help you with cleaning and laundry where they will be on their feet for an extended period of time. You can time them cleaning up from multiple rooms, turning a chore into a game!
- In Kansas City, we have a place called Rainbow Play Systems, which is a place that sells playground equipment but has their product line set up inside to “test out.” For just a few dollars, your kids can have a playground/park experience in a temperature-controlled environment! Look around your area to see if there are any places similar to this, I would highly recommend it!
These are all great for your children but be sure to plan some physical activity for yourself. Here are just a handful of ideas to get you started:
- Join a gym – this way you have no excuse for not working out when it is 3 degrees outside.
- Stationary bike/elliptical, or another piece of equipment that you can store in your garage or basement where it isn’t going to get in the way.
- Join a team where you will play weekly games – Indoor soccer and basketball are just two options that you could get involved with.
- Exercise during your lunch break if you are fortunate enough to have on-site fitness equipment, or a nearby gym.
- Use the fitness programs of your fitness tracker, activities from an app on your smartphone, or a fitness DVD from someone like Jillian Michaels to give you simple and easy to follow workouts during the short days of winter.
What are some ways that you keep your children and yourself entertained and physically active during the short days of winter? What works and what doesn’t work? Please share your thoughts so that we can all be prepared for this crazy time of year! Thanks for reading, and until next time, Expect The Exceptional in everything that you do.