Tips for an Active Winter with Kids in Minnesota

While the days are getting longer, there are still many more cold days ahead. Keeping your kids active and getting outside can be a challenge. Heilicher Physical Education teachers Hector Sztainer and Rafi Forbush gave us their top picks for keeping kids active this winter. 

Ideas for Inside

Here are a few ideas for bringing fun inside when the mercury is low. 

  • Build an obstacle course in your house. Use your cushions, blankets, chairs, stairs and other household furniture to make a challenging course in your house.
  • Go to your local community center or indoor water park for a swim. Get your bathing suits out and enjoy the warmth of your community pool.
  • Play “Gym.” Allow each person a chance to be the gym teacher. Have fun doing jumping jacks, sit ups, and mountain climbers. A fun workout for them and you.
  • Visit an indoor park or playground. The Twin Cities has several fun indoor playgrounds. Your 2018 goal could be to make it to each one.  

 Here are a few favorites: 

  • Eagle’s Nest
  • Edinborough Park
  • InnerActive
  • Backyard Indoor Playground
  • Maple Grove Play Place
  • Pinwheel Play

Check out a comprehensive list to find one near you. 

  • Bowling. Visit your local bowling alley or make your own set at home. Fill up empty water bottles, set them up in your hallway and use any ball. Have fun seeing who can knock down the most pins!

Activities for Outside

When the weather is nice enough to get outside with your little ones, bundle up and try a few outdoor activities. 

  • Shovel the driveway/sidewalk for someone in need. Purchase a child size shovel, or break out the sand shovel and pail for your youngster, and when the snow falls get outside and shovel together. Your child will have fun helping you and you will both get fresh air. Bonus is you get to do something for a neighbor in need.
  • Build a snowman. Something every child needs to experience each winter.
  • Play on a playground in a local, regional, or state park. Snow may be on the ground, but it doesn’t mean your favorite parks are closed.
  • Take a walk on local, regional, or state park walking paths. A good pair of snow boots and snow pants can make the snowiest days tolerable.
  • Learn to snowshoe or cross country ski. Youngsters can get out on skis earlier than you might think. If your child isn’t able to do it on their own, grab a child back pack and get out yourself. Bonus: they can see things from new heights.
  • Downhill sledding. With baby sleds and toboggans it is easy for kids of all ages to try this winter activity. Just be sure to choose a spot without hazards such as trees, roads or fences.

No matter what you decide to do, just be sure you and your kids try something new. Not only does physical activity provide emotional and physical health benefits, but it makes the winter a little more enjoyable. 

  • Family
  • Minnesota Life
  • Physical Education

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