5 Ways to Keep Kids Active in the Winter

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Written by Alicia Hutchinson of Investing Love.

It’s darn cold right now. Our family is in the process of a cross country move and while we find a house we are living between family in Minnesota and South Dakota. Believe me, we know cold. Our move is bringing us from North Carolina, and even though we grew up in the Midwest, getting acclimated back to cold weather has been rough. My kids are constantly stir crazy, so coming up with some ways to keep kids active in the winter was a must.

5 Ways to Keep Kids Active in the Winter

5 ways to keep kids active in the winter:

1. Find an open gym. Maybe there’s a local YMCA  near you or a school that keeps open gym hours. Maybe there is a church that lets families use the gym at a certain time or day of the week. If you can get to the gym, give your kids a couple of basketballs or dodge balls to play with for a few hours.They are going to leave tuckered out and you’re going to leave excited to have a chilled out house for the afternoon! Have them play tag, shoot hoops, play kickball, jump rope, and run around like crazy people. It’ll be beautiful. Trust me.

2. Join a winter sport. I’m not all about signing up for activity upon activity, but sometimes your kids just need an active outlet, right? Maybe swim club or gymnastics or basketball…these are all great options, especially if you’ve got a kid that needs to go-go-go all the time. Chances are he or she will have practice several times a week and a game on the weekends for a season of time. These blocked out times for activity will cut down on the craziness at home. Team sports are also great for a number of other reasons like sportsmanship and teamwork.

3. Play outside. I know it’s cold. I totally get this, but just do it. Just bite the bullet, layer wool upon wool, and do it. Get out there for even a few minutes, pull those wildcats on a sled, pelt them with some snowballs, let them pelt you back, help them build a fort, go for a winter walk, find some pinecones to make a centerpiece for the table, look for winter birds, catch snowflakes on some black construction paper and look at the interesting shapes, look for tracks, or look for signs of spring…if they exist yet.


Yes, you’ll freeze your bum off but you’ll be glad you did it. My friend from Germany always tells me that in her hometown, all the moms take their little ones out even on the coldest days because the older grannies swear that the kids sleep better for naps and at night. I believe it. Napping kids in the afternoon is equal to spa treatments I’m pretty sure. Get outside…you’ll be happy you did.

4. Do yoga with your kids. This is my favorite. I recently started doing yoga with my kids and I l.o.v.e. love it. I’m wondering why I didn’t start sooner. One of my children has really tight muscles and struggles in the flexibility department. Yoga has been amazing for this! We use a YouTube channel called Cosmic Kids Yoga and the episodes are all about 20 minutes long. They lead the children through a yoga routine while telling a story, which is fabulous. My kids are always laughing from the silly story by the end of it.


5. Set up your own gymnastics gym.  My daughter loves gymnastics. I mean, LOVES gymnastics. She needs an outlet to be active somewhere during the winter months, especially on those days we’re not planning on leaving the house. I thought, why not set up a gymnastics gym in the basement? I’m not talking about anything crazy, but there are some really great products out there to create your own little gym in the corner.

There is a great little trampoline on the market today that is safe for kids, affordable, and would be perfect for getting the wiggles out on cold days. A balance beam would be great to add, too – not a big, huge thing, but a short one to let your kids balance and work on coordination. A few tumbling mats would be great for letting your kids do flips or somersaults without worry of the hard floor. The most fun idea would be a cool trapeze bar if you have ceiling space. A few months down the road if you’re not using it as much, just take it down.

6. Go skating. My kids love skating. I don’t think I’m raising any future Scott Hamiltons by any means, but they sure do love to strap on their skates and go. We have a great indoor rink nearby with a fair amount of “open skate” times, which is perfect when it’s way too cold to skate outside.  If you feel super excited about having your kids skate, you could build your own ice skating rink for your yard. A friend and her husband, who live in Montana, build an awesome skating rink in their yard every winter. What a great winter activity for your kids! Skates can often be found used or discounted at the end of the season. Buy a few pairs this spring and you’ll have them for next winter when the days get cold again.

Spring is coming, friends! I’m not sure that groundhog knows what he’s talking about because here in Minneapolis today, it’s a whopping 1* and I’m feeling a little heat wave coming on! #sarcasm  In the meantime, try these ideas on your wiggly little people.

What suggestions would you add for indoor or outdoor winter fun?

top image courtesy of pixabay

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One Comment

  1. Hi, Alicia! Welcome to Minnesota! I wanted to let you know that the Cities has a large number of indoor parks. Some are businesses in their own buildings; others are set up in the mall. Many community centers have their own indoor gyms as well.

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