5 Ideas to Get Kids Moving This Holiday Season

boyvideogame-1681347It can be difficult to keep kids active during winter break when the weather is cold and school is out. Maintaining a physical fitness routine during the holidays can reduce boredom and stress for everyone. Here are a few ways to keep the entire family moving during the winter break.

Make Moving a Game

Grab some dice and assign each number, either 1-12 or 1-6, a movement. You might want to write down the movements to help kids remember them. Make the movements fun, like pretending to ski, riding a horse, or doing a specific dance move. Kids roll the dice and then act out the number they roll. Specify an amount of time to perform the movement, like 10-30 seconds.

There are plenty of other ideas for active games out there. Play holiday freeze dance and put on your favorite holiday music. When the music stops everyone freezes in a pose until the music starts again. Hallway bowling, animal charades, crab-walk races, Simon says, or a good old pillow fight all disrupt the boredom and can become some favorite holiday memories.

Look for a Holiday Fun Run

Walk or run your way to the finish line of a 5K or longer run over the holidays. Participate as a family and help a charity while getting your exercise.

Include Neighbors or Friends

There is power in numbers and getting some exercise is much more fun with a group of people. Neighbors and friends can provide the motivation you and your kids need to get off of the couch. Organize some group activities such as sledding, ice skating, or curling, or arrange a neighborhood ice hockey game.

Set Up an Obstacle Course

Use furniture inside or make snow obstacles outside for a fun race. Time each participant to see how fast everyone can complete the course. Or choose a series of movements that everyone has to do in a particular order. They may have to start with 5 sit ups and then balance on one foot, and finish with a head stand.

Provide an Incentive

On the really lazy days, a special treat, a trip to the movies, or some extra time doing the things your kids love can provide motivation to break the inertia. Be clear about your expectations when suggesting a reward. For example, for every half hour of active play or exercise, kids get an extra 5 to 10 minutes of screen time. Or create a chart so kids can track their own progress and receive points for jumping rope for a set amount of time, for example. Kids will love improving upon their time and turning in points for something special.

Incentives work during a game, too. Place some popcorn on a plate or napkin and place it on the ground. Encourage kids to do popcorn pushups. Every time they do a push up they grab a piece of popcorn on the way back up.

We hope these tips keep your family movin’ and groovin’ over the holidays!

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