I’m just going to come out and say it: winter sucks. It’s cold. It’s dark. And it’s hard to stay active when all you want to do at the end of the day is curl up in front of the TV with a warm blanket and some hot cocoa. So to break the winter blues, I’ve come up with 7 healthy family activity ideas for winter (that you’ll actually want to do).
7 Healthy Family Activity Ideas for Winter
Personally, I find the worst part about winter to be the snow and the cold. Now, that’s not true for everyone everywhere, but it certainly is an adjustment to go from hoodies and fall jackets to bundling the kids up in snowsuits for short outings.
Living where the air hurts your face sucks.
But if we don’t stay active, it doesn’t actually help make it better! Keeping healthy and active is actually a great way to prevent the winter blues. So, if you haven’t been motivated, now’s the time to suck it up and start. Trust me; it will make everyone’s lives better (including the cabin fevered kids’!)
Let the TV be your healthy activity friend
If your kids are glued to the TV in the wintertime like mine are, don’t beat ‘em, join ‘em! Youtube is a great resource for all kinds of family-friendly fitness videos. There’s yoga, dance instruction, and kids’ workouts. I’ll tell you, my kids aged 4-10 absolutely love this stuff. It’s a great way to get everyone up and moving around.
And yes, do it with them!
Embrace the outdoors
If you live somewhere that has a lot of snow, don’t fight it. Instead, get on your mittens and snow pants and embrace that fluffy white fitness opportunity. If the snow is sticky enough, get the kids outside and build an amazing snow fort or epic snowman together. Or, if you’re really feeling crazy, have a snowball fight with your neighborhood.
Sometimes the snow can’t be made into fun things (our problem), but there are still some fun ways you can play in the powder. Take the kids tobogganing down a local hill or just explore the way the world looks all covered in snow. Identify tracks or put together a winter scavenger hunt.
Another fun snow activity is painting! Little kids especially will love this one. Fill spray bottles with cool water and food coloring and let them decorate to their heart’s content.
Participate in winter sports
You’ll have to choose these based on your interests and what’s in your area, but there’s a lot of fun sports and activities you can only do in the winter. Some great ideas are downhill skiing and snowboarding, cross country skiing, snowshoeing, skating, and hockey. Sign the family up for lessons, buy a membership, or join a team and enjoy these while you can!
If you have access to them, it’s also a lot of fun to get the kids out on the snowmobile. Mine absolutely love getting pulled behind it in the sled! Although they’re not exactly running around, being out in the fresh air is good for everyone.
Plan fun indoor activities
If it’s really too cold (or miserable) to be outside, then pre-plan your indoor days to stave off boredom, cabin fever, and being sedentary. Some fun ideas are creating a fun playlist and having a family dance party, building a fort together, or even doing some simple exercises as a family. If you have indoor activities that encourage movement (like Nerf guns, games like Twister, etc.), now’s the time to pull those out!
Just because you can’t be outside during the winter as much doesn’t mean there aren’t other ways to stay healthy. Visit your local library as a family and pick out some healthy recipes from cookbooks, then go shopping together and buy the ingredients. Keep everyone involved in the cooking process from start to finish!
Not only is cooking with your kids a great way to spend time together but it also hopefully will help them try something new.
Visit an indoor center to get out of the house
When you can’t play outside, indoor venues are the next best thing. Anything from rec centers with open gyms to specialized activity centers like trampoline parks is a great way to get out (and stay active) in the winter. Indoor pools, bowling, mini-golf, indoor playgrounds, rock climbing, and similar places are all great ideas, but you can also think outside the box. Some museums, for example, have a lot of walking. Malls have free play areas.
Check out winter festivals
Summer isn’t the only time of the year you find community festivals! Some common winter ones include festivals of lights or ice sculptures. Usually, these involve spending a lot of time walking around outside to see the exhibits, a perfect excuse for getting active even in winter. Plus, they’re usually geared for families meaning there’s always an opportunity to warm up and get out of the cold and plenty for the kids to do and see.
Plan a getaway (or staycation)
It’s really the best thing you can do for your health, let’s be honest. It’s a funny healthy family activity and a little break from the cold to somewhere warmer helps your mental health and is also an excellent opportunity for a whole family vacation full of walking or swimming.
Not everyone can take a winter trip every year, though. If that’s not possible, explore some trip ideas with the family instead! If you’re a summer camping kind of family, for example, do some research together on where you’d like to go this year.
Or, consider a fun “staycation” right in your own home! Visit the tropics by cranking up the heat and put on shorts while eating watermelon and other healthy summer foods. Or go on a “camping” trip complete with a hike around the neighborhood, an outdoor bonfire, and a “camp out” in the living room. Get creative!
Just because it’s wintertime doesn’t mean you have to stay in and do nothing! Hopefully, these 7 healthy family activity ideas for winter will inspire you to focus on your health as a family all year long.
How does your family stay healthy in the winter?
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