Trying to encourage your children to play outside in winter when it’s freezing cold and rainy can be like pulling teeth. Not only is outdoor exercise important for them, but they might be driving you crazy if they’re wreaking havoc at home. This is why we’ve put together this handy guide that provides plenty of ideas for keeping your kids active during the winter. We’ve included some indoor and outdoor activities that are good fun for all the family.
How to Keep Kids Active
Even when it’s super cold outside, your kids can still have a good time and will quickly warm up if they’re moving around. As long as it’s not too icy, you could take them to the local park for a game of football or to play in the playground. Walking the dog is a good pastime that also acts as a bonding activity for everyone. If you wanted to venture further than your local park, you could pack up the car and drive to a nature trail, beach or country park, treating it as an adventure instead of just a walk.
In Norway, they say ‘there’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing’. Here at Regatta, we believe that wearing the right gear is essential if you’re to enjoy an active, outdoor life all year round. A good quality coat will keep the kids cosy even when they’re not moving much. Hats, scarves and gloves are also necessities when it’s very cold. Encourage them to wear layers so that they can take some items of clothing off if they get too hot. Finally, some thick socks should keep their feet dry when it’s raining or snowing. This is particularly important if you fancy taking them puddle jumping. This activity only requires a pair of wellies, a rainsuit and plenty of water, but it can be a messy game.
Snow provides plenty of opportunities for outdoor fun and exercise. The kids can tire themselves out throwing snowballs or building snowmen. You could also take them sledding in the park to burn off some energy or you could get creative with snow angels. The children could even help you to remove the worst of the snow from the driveway and pavement using shovels. By the time the day is out, they’ll be ready for a hot meal, bath and bed.
Alternatively, there are plenty of indoor options to keep the children active when the weather is looking a bit gloomy. Enjoy some friendly competition with your youngsters at the local bowling alley or let them have a splash about or practise their strokes at the swimming pool. If you’ve got kids that just can’t sit still, a trampoline park or indoor climbing centre might be the perfect way to spend a cold afternoon, and if you want to embrace the winter vibe, why not head to an indoor ski centre or ice skating rink for some seasonal fun without the chattering teeth? For younger kids and toddlers, an hour or two spent climbing, sliding, diving and playing at a soft play centre can be a great way of burning off excess energy.
Staying active in winter doesn’t have to involve days out spending money though. You can get moving at home at little to no cost. Encourage your kids to use their imaginations and get physical by helping them to make a den or create some fun dance routines. If you’ve got a gamer in the family, inject some physicality into the experience by using a Wii to do everything from wake boarding, to basketball, to yoga. From a simple game of hide and seek to a good old-fashioned game of Twister, there’s plenty to keep kids of all ages on their feet at home.
What to do during Christmas holidays
The Christmas holidays can be quite a long break, with some schools breaking up around the 20th December and returning in the first week of January. If you’re stuck for things to do, we’ve included some family-friendly festive activity ideas to keep you and your little ones from lounging around watching Christmas films and eating mince pies for too long.
It’s a big tradition for many cities to turn on their Christmas lights each year. Tonnes of people arrive to watch them light up the town and see the local Christmas tree in its full glory. These evenings are sometimes accompanied by live music. While there is lots of fun to be had, it can get quite chilly when you’re waiting around. Be prepared with layers of clothing and thick jackets. Gloves and a hat might also be a good idea.
If you’re based in the south or near London, the Winter Wonderland at Hyde Park is a wonderful family event. It features the UK’s largest outdoor ice skating rink, as well as a giant observation wheel to give you fabulous views over London. And the best part is, it’s completely free to enter, making it an affordable evening.
For local attractions, it’s likely that there will be Christmas Markets making an appearance in your town. You could go along to try some mulled wine (or juice for the kids!) and taste some delicious homemade delicacies, such as fudge, cheese and many more.