Long, cold days inside can leave kids with too much unspent energy. Try Chelsea’s tips for banishing the winter wiggles and getting kids productively active.
The often-monotonous cold season is in full swing now. This time of year is both wonderful and trying for us homeschoolers. Because we homeschool, we don’t have to leave the house. However, because we homeschool, we don’t have to leave the house.
At first, staying in your warm, fuzzy wearing PJs and snuggling up with your kids all day is heavenly. But, what first seems like a luxury can get old pretty quickly. Especially for those with young, energetic children who live in areas where the weather isn’t conducive to outside play.
Kids who are stuck inside for long periods with nowhere for all that extra kid-energy to go often develop a severe case of the “winter wiggles.” Before you know it, you’re living with a kid who does things like make messes, follows you around with nonstop talking, and runs through the house jumping on the furniture. You’re lucky if you don’t find them hanging from the chandeliers or climbing the walls. Literally.
Finding a solution is often crucial for the mental health of all involved. Fortunately, there are ways to keep kids active in the winter and get rid of the winter wiggles without subjecting them to the freezing temperatures outside.
Here are my top tips for doing getting rid of the winter wiggles. Many of these ideas work even in our teeny tiny RV living space, and all of them will work in traditional living spaces.
Invest in Equipment
There are several different types of equipment that can help kids release some of their energy while remaining indoors. For instance, we once purchased a small trampoline for our son to jump on, and it worked out quite well. Other great ideas include jump ropes, Spooner boards, and stationary bikes.
All of these can be used indoors during the cold season and taken outside when the weather warms up. Each piece of equipment is fun for kids and doesn’t require any real planning or participation from parents, making them ideal for those times when you just need to get things done.
Do Some Dancing and Yoga
Dancing is a great way to get rid of some energy while having a great time. The easiest way to do this is to put on some fun music and have a family dance party. However, some kids might be reluctant to get in on such an activity, and others may not find it engaging enough.
In these cases, playing freeze dance, using video games such as Just Dance 2020, or finding YouTube channels that teach dance or yoga can all be great alternatives.
Some of my favorite kid dance and yoga YouTube channels include:
- Move to Learn — Fun, educational dance routines for all ages.
- Daniella Ballerina — Features ballet tutorials for very young dancers.
- Cosmic Kids Yoga — Yoga exercise videos that pull kids into a story. Sometimes silly, sometimes calming. Great for a wide range of ages.
Play Silly Games
If you’re able and willing to get involved in your children’s play for a bit, some silly games are sure to keep their attention and get some energy out.
Some of these are structured games, others are more freeform types of play, but all are lots of fun and perfectly indoor-friendly:
- Animal Races — Have races while moving like various types of animals. For example, you might hop like frogs or walk like gorillas.
- Balloon Ball — Blow up a balloon (not with helium) and toss it into the air. Have the kids see how long they can keep it up without letting it touch the floor.
- Hallway Bowling — Create bowling pins by filling used soda bottles with water or sand. Roll a ball down the hallway to knock the pins over.
- Bubble Wrap Bouncing — If you have a package delivered, let the kids pop the bubble wrap. Challenge them to pop it without using their hands.
- Pillow Fights — There’s nothing quite like a good old-fashioned pillow fight. Introduce this age-old sport to your littles.
- Indoor Hopscotch — Set up hopscotch in the hallway using masking tape to create the boxes. Teach the kids how to play.
Clean Up the House
Cleanup time happens at least once a day in most households. Kill three birds with one stone by making cleaning a game and an exercise session as well. Set a timer and race the clock to get each room clean, trying to beat your own time with each new session.
Alternatively, you could have the kids race against each other, seeing who can complete their task first or pick up the most items in a set amount of time.
Go Out and About
Finally, there is the option to get out of the house from time to time. Even if you don’t have any organized activities to attend, there are still plenty of indoor things to do in most cities.
For instance, you might head to the local library for a yoga class, go to a nearby fast food place to use their indoor play structure, or even head to a museum to walk around a bit. Planning these field trips at least once a week will help break up the wintertime monotony until spring arrives, and you can head outside once more.
What’s your best indoor-friendly winter wiggles bashing tip?