Winter can be an exciting season for children. Snow days are a coveted time when they can stay home from school and go outside and play. Building snowmen, snow forts, and having snowball fights are fun and exciting past times.
But when children are stuck indoors when the weather is bad, they can fall victim to boredom and anxiety. As every parent knows, those emotions are dangerous territory for your household’s mood. Thankfully, there are many fun and educational indoor activities that can keep their spirits and physical activity up during those dreary winter days.
Side Effects of Prolonged Inactivity
Keeping your child active in the winter can not only stave off boredom, but keep them fit and healthy. Inactivity contributes to obesity and other conditions, such as:
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
While a day or two inside will not hurt your child, it’s still a good idea to keep them active in as many ways possible. Activities such as the ones listed below can give them something to do and make for great bonding experiences.
There are many websites available that provide both craft ideas and free printable coloring pages. Ranging from simple cut-and-paste to more complex projects like “magical” crystal trees, the possibilities are endless. Other ideas include:
Learn About Nutrition with Kid-Friendly Recipes
Cooking can be a fun activity that teaches children valuable life skills such as responsibility and the importance of nutrition. Making easy, healthy recipes will give them a sense of accomplishment and the joy of eating something they made themselves. You can also encourage your child to create a recipe of their own! Remember to supervise your child while cooking and take safety precautions like keeping sharp or hot objects out of reach.
Get Building & Start Dancing
Arts and crafts may not hold children’s attention for long, as it’s not always an activity that they wish to partake in. More often than not, children will want to run around and play as if they were outside. Parents can channel this energy through a myriad of activities such as building structures like pillow forts and dancing.
Build a Fortress
Just as cooking teaches children how ingredients come together to create something delicious, so building teaches them how pieces work together to build a stable structure. Building a fort with blankets, pillows, and chairs will not only give children places they can hide away in, but also build teamwork skills.
Put on Some Music & Dance
Playing your child’s favorite music can encourage them to get up and dance. Move furniture out of the way to make adequate room so no heads or lamps get bumped. Incorporating musical instruments like tambourines into the routine will also encourage children to play along. Dancing will not only burn off some excess energy, but give your child a reason to bounce around. You can even participate yourself!
Be a Positive Role Model
Children learn by example. By staying active yourself in the winter, you will encourage healthy behavior in your children and teach them how to stay active themselves.