Many of us live in places where February, and winter in general, can often times be harsh and unpleasant. I live in Maine and come February I am so ready for winter to be over; bring on mud season! And as much as my kids love playing in the snow, I think a part of them is ready for spring too. There are days where going outside is just not fun due to the bitter cold temperatures and blowing wind; so we hang out inside where it’s toasty warm!
It’s great to not have to go outside and freeze, but after days and days of cold weather my kids (and me!) start to go stir crazy. Cabin fever definitely sets in and they just need to run! My daughter does dance and karate, but we also try to stay somewhat active indoors at home by making obstacle courses, having dance parties, doing the fun movement ideas from our brain break activities folder, playing “Simon Says”(For a great free printable with “Simon Says” ideas, go to What’s That Smell?) and of course, my children’s favorite…GoNoodle!
Even though we do these things already, I wanted to find a few more new ways to keep them moving as we try and get through the rest of winter. I decided to call this month Fitness February, because I want to be sure that even on the coldest, windiest, snowiest days we are still doing something everyday to stay active, even if it isn’t going outside. Plus, since it is heart health month, it only seemed natural to work some fitness activities into the month!
So here are some fun activities that you can do with your children this winter, or anytime of the year when your kiddos just need to move and get their energy out!
This is a fun way to get some exercise, but you can also mix in some learning…yay! “What’s Your Name?”a fitness activity for kids (from What’s That Smell?) is a fun game where kids spell their name (or other words, other people’s names, spelling words, or even just learning the letters of the alphabet) and for each letter of their name (or word) there is a fitness activity for them to do. And if you want to join in with your kids, there are two versions for adults; beginner and extreme. Although I don’t think I will be able to do the extreme version anytime soon!
(From What’s That Smell?)
Another great game to play when your kids need to get up and move is Wheel of Fitness (from eager Ed). You can make this easy and free game board wheel and then customize it to whatever is best for your children. I am going to make one for my kids, and will put pieces of velcro on the wheel and on the circles saying the activity. That way I can use the same main wheel, but quickly and easily change up the activities that we can do. I love how the game takes simple exercises and movements that may not be that exciting on their own, and turns them into a game that makes exercising fun!
(From eager Ed)
Along the same lines as the wheel of fitness, is another great game using a DIY FitBall (from Making Healthier Decision). All you need to play this game is a beach ball and music! You write different activities and exercises on each section of the beach ball. Pass or toss the ball around as the music plays and when it stops, the person holding the ball shares with everyone what activities they have to do based on what section of the ball their hand is on.
(From Making Healthier Decisions)
The last idea I wanted to share with you is the “Get the Kids Moving” Game (from i heart naptime). This game makes fitness fun by rolling the dice and seeing what movement activity you get to do, and for how long. All you need to do is print the templates out, assemble the dice, and play; easy peasy!
(From i heart naptime)
While we may not be able to go outside as much as we’d like thanks to the weather, we can still keep the kids moving with these fun fitness games and ideas. What are some ways you and your kids stay active during the long winter months?