10 Ways To Keep Children Active During The Winter Break

winter break

That time of year when the days are shorter and the air is a bit cooler is upon us. Before you know it, it’s winter break, and the kids are out, and you’ll be scrambling on what to do with the extra downtime. Just because the weather is cooler doesn’t mean that your kids don’t feel the same need to be active and exercise. Here are some tips on how to keep your children active during the winter break.

Why Exercise is Important For Children

Outdoor Activities

Both adults and children can benefit from regular exercise. Active children have stronger bones and muscles, leaner bodies, and have a lower chance of getting co-morbidities like Type II Diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and obesity. Overall, kids who are active are much happier than sedentary ones.

The health benefits of regular exercise also mean that kids sleep better. Their school performance is better as they are more rested and ready to tackle the day’s tasks. Exercise also helps lower incidences of depression and anxiety.

Some main consequences of physical inactivity include:

  • Energy imbalance, which increases the risk of being overweight or obese
  • Increases the risk of future health problems such as glucose or insulin intolerance
  • Leads to lower bone density
  • Increase their risk of developing cancer

What are the Three Elements of Fitness?

preschool activities

When you look at a traditional children’s playground and the children playing on it, you will usually see three main elements of fitness:

1. Endurance

Endurance is when children are running around playing the game “it.” During this exercise, their muscles are moving, and their heart is beating faster. This helps strengthen their health and improves how their body delivers oxygen to its cells. This aerobic exercise can include bicycling, basketball, skating, soccer, swimming, running, or walking.

2. Strength

The monkey bars require strength. Pushups, pull-ups, or crunches help to strengthen muscles. They also improve strength when someone climbs, like up a rope in gym class. These muscle-strengthening exercises help to build strong bones too.

3. Flexibility

Stretching is a great way to improve flexibility, which allows the muscles and joints to bend easily. This can be achieved with cartwheels, karate, dance, or even yoga.

Now that you understand the importance of keeping children active all year long and the main components of physical activity let’s explore some activities for winter break.

Winter Break Activities For Kids

When it comes to winter break activities, you will want to brainstorm a variety to ensure that you don’t get the dreaded “I’m bored” from your kids. Keeping a balance between some active things to do and some creative indoor ones is the best balance possible for your kids this winter break and beyond.

Outdoor Activities

1. Bingo Hiking

Create your own bingo cards before heading out to the woods or a park with your kids. Have them draw pictures in each square of things that they think they may see on their walk, whether a bird, a pine cone, or a leaf. As you’re walking, have them search for ideas and give a prize or incentive for the child who gets bingo first, whether an extra half hour to stay up and watch one of their favorite shows or maybe a special treat.

2. Bowling

Bowling is a fun way to get kids moving and also promotes strength and flexibility. Black-light bowling has disco lights and glow–in–the–dark effects, which may add to the appeal.

3. Obstacle Course in the Backyard

Set up cones or other obstacles where your kids will have to run around it. Find hurdles for them to jump over or tunnels to crawl through. Balance beams are great to include. You can even do a themed obstacle course like a pirate treasure hunt to encourage kids to race to find treasure.

4. Make s Stick Maze.

First, the idea of gathering enough sticks to make this maze will probably exhaust the kids entirely, so you might want to make these two separate activities. After you have all your sticks, create a fun maze for your children to attempt to escape. If you have children that are far apart in age, you may want to make two different ones in varying difficulty.

5. Visit a Botanical Garden

A great way to get outside and enjoy nature during winter break in South Florida is by taking advantage of the many outdoor gardens. Try Flamingo Gardens for an educational day of walking and exploring.

Indoor Activities

6. Make Paper Snowflakes

It’s time to get artsy, and best of all, all you need is some paper and scissors to get started. If you want to add some bling like sequins or glitter, you can find some at your local dollar store. Take a piece of paper and fold it diagonally. Cut off the excess. Now fold that triangle in half and then fold it again to make thirds. Cut off the points. Open the paper, and you’ll see a beautiful snowflake. It’s that easy!

7. Make Playdough Snowmen

Use playdough to make snowmen. You can even use doll accessories like hats or clothing to dress them up. Make it a contest to see who can make theirs look the most creative.

8. Make Holiday Cookies For Loved Ones

This is a great way to not only teach kids how to cook at a basic level but also to use their artistic side by decorating them. Lastly, you can teach them about the importance of acts of service and doing good for others. This is a great activity for kids of all ages.

9. Build a Blanket Fort

This is a classic activity that never goes out of style. Find your favorite blankets and use chairs and other furniture to create a fun fort to play in all day long, and maybe they’ll even want to “camp” out in it overnight too.

10. Go Picnicking Indoors

Just because the weather is cooler doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the fun of a picnic. Have your kids gather with maybe their friends and their favorite stuffed animals and have lunch picnic style.

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Discover More Child-Friendly Activities For Winter Break

Preschool Activities

When you’re looking for positive, active, and even educational winter break activities, a curriculum-based preschool or VPK provider can help. Remember to always keep it positive and fun, and your children will love it. It’s okay to do a mix of activities throughout the day to split up the recommended 60 minutes of daily activity that children and adults need.

At Providence Children’s Academy, we pride ourselves on offering a place where every child can thrive at every growth stage. Our Coconut Creek preschool accommodates children from six weeks old to VPK graduates aged four. We also offer an after-school care program for working parents, with free pickup from local schools. To learn more about the best Coconut Creek preschool, call our staff at 954-570-6914 today.

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