Here are some great and creative ideas from many dads who are concerned about keeping kids active during colder weather. See if these ideas might work in your family with your children.
Break out the Wii. Video gaming that requires physical activity is a great idea during winter months. Kids love game systems like the Nintendo Wii that encourage physical activity. You can even get games that include winter sports that seem appropriate during the colder time of year. Or you could bring back a bit of the summer spirit by choosing Wii games that simulate activities in warmer weather.
Try some active winter sports. Your kids might enjoy heading down to the nearest ice rink or well frozen-over pond for some ice skating. Many areas where it snows have groomed cross country ski trails or you might consider taking them downhill skiing or snowboarding. Snowshoeing is another fun sport that can include the whole family with a comparatively small investment. Consider renting skiing, snowboarding or snowshoeing equipment to see how much the kids love it before you invest in equipment your family would own.
Clear out the garage. When the weather is cold outside, it will be a little warmer in the garage. Move the cars out and then you can do activities like jumping rope, throwing a Frisbee or playing broom hockey. You can be pretty creative in modifying many outdoor activities so that they can be played in the family garage.
Check out the community recreation center. Many communities have a recreation center or a YMCA that is open year round. Those with indoor pools can provide a warmer swimming activity whatever the outdoor weather. Many recreation center also have multi-sports courts and gyms where kids can play games like volleyball, badminton, indoor soccer, futsal or basketball. It may be a little pricey for a single visit, but looking into three month passes for the winter months can save you some money.
Get out an active board game. Board games are always fun indoors when it is cold outside, and some board games have an element of physical activity. Games like Twister are clearly active, and games that require some motion like Guesstures or Footloose are certainly better than sitting at the kitchen table playing cards.
Check out a children's museum. In many communities, there are children's museums that offer active programming during the winter months. The Association of Children's Museums has a searchable database to find a museum close by. Then you can check out the museum's website for information about their programs and activities. Usually the kids can run and play in the museum and get involved in other physically active programs.
Remember the importance of winter safety when you are outside with the kids in very cold or snowy weather. Make sure that they are clothed warmly and have a hat and gloves. You will want to make sure that you avoid problems like hypothermia and frostbite.
Winter activities are important to keep kids fit and active during the cold winter months. Staying focused on physical activity all year long will help avoid problems like obesity that can cause children problems. And winter time can be fun for dads and kids when we look for ways to stay fit together.