Winter. Christmas shopping and celebrations, holidays, fun.
Winter. Too cold, or too wet to get outside and stay active.
But rather than get worked up about staying indoors, and worry about how to stay sane and keep your children occupied, how about fun indoor activities that keep you and your children physically active? You’ll enjoy them, and as a bonus, also get your daily workout while burning calories!
So let’s go!
That seems obvious, but with children in the house, it is time to get creative and nudge their imagination. Make a list of things whose movements you can imitate. Examples are: A tree swaying, helicopter blades, Pretend to be a pair of scissors and move your arms and legs like one, make the shape of the alphabet. Keep going for 10 minutes until you’re laughing so much, you have to stop.
- Hula hoop
Invest in a hula hoop or few. Then clear out some space in your spare room, living room or garage, and get going. You don’t have to be a pro with the hoop because just trying is so much fun and keeps you active. For a variation, place the hoops on the floor and jump from one to the other. Or hold them upright to make a tunnel that children can crawl through!
- Dribble and roll
Almost every house has a ball. Make some space and encourage your children to dribble. Start slow, then amp up the speed. Break up into teams and bounce the balls, keeping up the rhythm.
No activity is quite so much fun as dancing. All you need to do is turn on the music and bust some moves. Appoint a “DJ”, have a contest. Introduce variations with musical chairs or playing statue where the dancers must stop when the music stops. Then, how about shaking things up with a flash mob dance?
- Use some air chairs
Team up into pairs. Stand toe to toe, hold hands and lean back. Pretend as though you are sitting on a chair. How long can you sit on your air chair? A variation is to sit on the floor, facing away from each other, with backs touching, legs bent at the knees so that your feet are flat on the floor. Now lock your arms and and using each other for support, try to stand and sit. Repeat for a good workout. And lots of laughter.
- Go crazy
Choose your favorite animal and then, act like those animals, moving around. Crawl, hop, sway. Gallop, slither, jump. Turn your house into a real zoo!
- Sack race
This one is fun! Get into a sack that comes up to your waist when you hold it up. No sack? No problem. Wrap a sheet tight around your lower body, so you have to hop to move around. Mark a starting and an end point in your living room and have a race.
For strength and balancing exercises, enjoy the wheelbarrow race where you walk on your hands, while your partner holds your legs, steering you around.
- Do some yoga
Yoga is a great way to stretch those muscles, while helping with balance, focus, and good posture. Here are the top 7 yoga poses for kids to try.
- Go retro
Take a trip down memory lane by introducing your children to the games you played as a child. Some examples are hide and seek and scavenger hunts, hopscotch, Simon says, skipping with a jump rope, running up and down the stairs and so on.
- Overcome obstacles
Set up obstacles and split into teams. The one that gets to the finish point fastest wins. Some variations to try are blindfolding participants and guiding them with instructions, or using a stick to help them find their path.
Of course, there are the staples such as jigsaw puzzles, and other board games that can help you cool off after a round of activity. Wind up the day with a treasure hunt. And don’t forget to join in!
Winter indoors does not have to be boring!
What are your favourite indoor activities?