10 Ways To Keep Your Family Active on Cold Days

How can we encourage our kids β€” and ourselves β€” to keep moving when it's cold outside?

By Jenny Steadman / Brenna Gutell January 6, 2024

Staying active — both physically and mentally — when it's colder outside can be more challenging. But staying active is important for all of us to stay healthy and happy during the winter. It's especially important for our growing children. How can we encourage our kids — and ourselves — to keep our brains and bodies moving when it's colder outside?

Here are 10 ideas to keep your family active this winter:

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1. Get outside! πŸŒ„

Keep an eye on the "feels like" temperature to know how cold it really is. Fresh air always wins, even when it's cold out - kids and adults should be dressed appropriately before heading outside. Often we don't need more than a sweatshirt even on the coldest day, but depending on the activity and if they sun is shining you might want something warmer, hats and gloves can be nice too. Dressing in layers that can be peeled off is always a good idea and if it's one of those misty or sprinkly days, consider wearing something that repel moisture.

2. Enjoy a scavenger hunt πŸ”Ž

Being active doesn't always have to mean working up a sweat! Set up a scavenger hunt around the house for little kids. If your kids are older, have them set up hunts for each other. They'll be running all over the house finding or even planting clues. Feeling cooped up? Consider an outdoor neighborhood scavenger hunt.

3. Have a dance party! πŸŽΆπŸ•ΊπŸ’ƒ

Crank up your family's favorite tunes and start grooving to the music! This will get your heartbeats thumping and your blood flowing. Make up a dance routine for everyone to learn. Plus it raises endorphins, which can put anyone in a good mood. If you have a game console, "Just Dance" is a great way for the whole family to get exercise while also giving your kids that video game fix. Another great option? My kids' teachers use GoNoodle as a reward in their classrooms. This kid-safe, free site has Just Dance-like videos and Kidz Bop songs to dance and sing along to. No game console is needed!

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4. Hide-and-seek

Take turns and make sure everyone has a chance to seek! Want a fun variation? Try hide-and-seek sardines! One person hides and the rest of the family seeks. When you find the hider, squeeze in with them into their hiding place and wait for the next person to find you both!

5. Work on a puzzle, art project or play a game πŸ§©πŸ–ΌοΈ

Sometimes being active isn't about physical activity at all! It's just as important to keep your brain active and challenged. Work on a challenging puzzle as a family, or create artwork together. Both engage your brain and help you spend quality time together. Visit Macaroni KID Conejo Valley - Malibu - Calabasas and search for craft projects if you need some inspiration.

6. Play charades, Simon Says, and musical chairs

These simple games are fun for all ages — and all that laughing is great for your stomach muscles!

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7. Clean house

I know you think I'm crazy for suggesting this, but especially young kids want to help around the house. Give them a broom while you vacuum, or a cloth to wipe the counters. They may not actually do much cleaning, but they enjoy helping you — and they're moving at the same time. 6 Ways to Make Cleaning Up with Kids Fun!

8. Build a fort

Haul blankets, sheets, chairs, boxes, or whatever else you have on hand to create an epic fort — often the most fun is in the creation! Put it in a room where you don't mind if the kids leave it up for a few days so they can keep adding to it and inventing creative games to play inside. Do you have cardboard boxes lying around? What Happens When You Give a Kid a Box? They have the Most Awesome FUN

9. Run the stairs

Challenge each other to see who can get up the stairs the fastest. Try two at a time or maybe three?

10. Find virtual workout classes for the whole family

There are so many online family workouts, mindfulness, and yoga classes you can take, and many of them are free on YouTube or other sites. Simply search what you're looking for and try a few out to find hosts you connect with!

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This article originally appeared in Macaroni KID Family Wellness  and has been updated by Macaroni KID Conejo Valley - Malibu - Calabasas

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