Winning in the Winter

Winter means snow gently falling, sipping hot chocolate, (hopefully) enjoying the holidays, and all those other things that make us feel all warm and fuzzy. But as the snow begins to fall, oftentimes so do activity levels, especially in children. Here are ten ways to keep your little athlete active in the winter months.

Gymnastics
Tumbling and cartwheels are fun for any kid, regardless of the season. Gymnastics are a great way to keep children active in the winter because they can be done at home or at a local gym. The sport keeps kids active, and, as a bonus, teaches them some pretty cool tricks.

Foam-Ball Games
Foam balls make playing ball in the house just as fun as playing outside. Disclaimer: put away the fancy vases, just for a day.

Dance Time
Turn on some tunes and get the kids dancing! It’s a fun way to keep the kids off the couch and moving.

Basketball
During the winter months, it’s fairly easy to find a local school or gym that makes its basketball court available to the public. Basketball is one of the most popular sports out there, so the prospect of hitting the court to shoot some hoops is enough to get almost any kid off the couch.

Winter Leagues
In addition to open court times at local gyms, there also are many winter leagues that kids can join to play a variety of sports. Some leagues, for example, have sports like indoor soccer, basketball, or even hockey so your little athlete can continue competing and having fun all year long.

Karate
The concept of learning karate is enough to excite any kid, whether it’s sunny, snowing or otherwise. One of the most popular forms of martial arts in the world, karate is a favorite for many kids around the country. It is a great option for the winter because it’s indoors, it keeps kids active, and it teaches them self-defense and discipline.

Exercise-Based Video Games
Over the past few years, many video-game companies have started making games that keep the player active. Since most kids love video games, these can be an easy way to get kids off the couch and moving.

Snowball Fights
Snowball fights—an essential winter activity for generations of children—give kids a chance to go outside and have fun with their friends, something they don’t always have much of a chance to do during colder months. Usually involving plenty of running around, snowball fights can be a great cardiovascular exercise for kids.

Building a Snow Man
Another calling card of winter, building a snowman is a timeless favorite for folks of all ages, especially kids. It gives them the chance to work together with their friends, constructing their winter masterpiece layer by layer until they’ve created something that would make Jack Frost feel warm inside. Just because it doesn’t seem like exercise doesn’t mean it’s not, though—rolling and lifting all that snow is hard work!

Sledding
If you grew up in a location graced by snowfall, then you probably have fond childhood memories of hopping on a sled and speeding down a snow-covered hill, only to turn around and walk right back up to do it again. While the actual sledding part is easy, it’s the trek back up the hill that’ll get kids huffing and puffing.

Winter is a great time of year for so many reasons, one of them being the fun you can have while staying active. Many take the cold and snow as a reason to stay put on the couch and wait for the summer to go back, but there’s no reason anyone, especially kids, can’t stay active when it gets cold. From indoor activities, to winter leagues, to fun in the snow, there’s plenty of options to keep your child active until the flowers start blooming.

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