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Activities During Cold Weather

Keeping Kids Active During Cold Weather

It's cold outdoors; your children are spending more time indoors and are less likely to be physically active. Want to get them moving again? Imagination is in order at this time of year!

Home-based Fitness

As a teacher, I am constantly using my imagination to inspire my students to enjoy physical education. Coming up with new ideas not only keeps me fresh but is fantastic for my students because they never know what to expect. Surprises work wonders with small children! Here are a couple of ideas that you can do at home as a family. Just remember, use your imagination and let your children help you with this; you may learn something!

Have you ever timed your children to get chores done or a task that you have given them to complete? Children love to be timed at everything. All you need is a wristwatch on your arm with a second hand. With expression in your voice, say something such as, "How long will it take you to run out to the mailbox, pick up the mail and come back? Ready, set, go!" It works and the children will love you for this!

Another example, if the children have been playing with toys in a specific room, come in and make your announcement, "How long will it take you to pick up the toys and place them back where they belong? Ready, set, go!" This is a fun way to teach children responsibility about picking up after themselves.

You can teach your children the same way about healthful foods and activities. The "ready, set, go" theory works in my house, especially with my young son.

He'll say, "Mom, I am hungry." My response back to him is, "OK, you are a growing boy. Go to the refrigerator and make a healthy choice. You make the decision and I will time you. Ready, set, go!"

He loves racing to the refrigerator door. He opens it up and peers inside, looking, scanning to see what choices he has in the making. He'll choose yogurt, carrots or an apple. On special days where he just breaks his current record, we add peanut butter to the apple. It is a special treat and this treat is fabulous for young children. It has protein to build strong muscles and the vitamins and fiber of fruit, and what is better than that?

Fun in the Great Outdoors

In choosing activities during this time of year (especially for those of us that deal with snow), we have the great outdoors to consider. But remember to use your imagination. As an adult, we get stuck thinking, "Oh, it's cold outside. I'm old. I cannot handle the elements."

By using your imagination and remembering your childhood, you can get out there with your children and enjoy making new memories. For one, have a great snowball fight. Remind your children about an important rule: Pack loosely and throw quickly. Talk about a workout! All of you will be tired in 10 to 15 minutes.

Use the trees as your cover, hide around corners of the house and enjoy the moment. At the end of the snowball fight, build a snowman. Take pictures, make silly faces and just get out there. Your children will have happy memories in the years to come!

Mom Gets Moving

Now I must share a secret. I enjoy walking at night in the cold. Yes, there's nothing better. I have my flashlight. I dress for the weather, make sure I have good hiking or snow boots and, to top it off, my husband purchased a red flashlight to be placed on my person. It is a special treat when it snows on these walks. It makes me feel so calm and peaceful. I get my 30 to 40 minutes of walking completed and come home refreshed and recharged.

Use your imagination, keep your body moving during the winter months and you may find that you really do like winter!

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CeReality: 5 Families, 5 Stories, 1 Critical Meal

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