Staying Active in the Winter

Heading outside to play, or do just about anything, isn’t quite as easy during the winter as it is during the summer.  Let’s face it: it’s colder, there’s less sunshine, and there aren’t as many people willing to go outside and join us.  However, this should not stop us from heading outdoors and taking advantage of all the health benefits we can gain.  Spending time outside helps in more ways than the obvious exercise.  Children can develop better motor skills, maintain better behavior and mental health, and get good Vitamin D intake all by spending time playing or performing activities outside.  A winter activity doesn’t even have to be something as serious as skiing or snowboarding.  Simply taking a bike ride during the winter can be much different than one done during the summer.  Try taking advantage of the seasonal change to show children shifts in nature.  With a pair of binoculars or a magnifying glass, children can see birds or insects that they normally wouldn’t see during the warmer parts of the year.

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Maybe the winter months seem daunting, but there are ways to make it easier and more fun to be outside, nonetheless.  The first step is to simply view winter in a more positive light.  Look at it this way: the winter months can be gloomy already if a child is spending a lot of time just at home.  Going outside is a great way to raise spirits!

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The next important thing to remember proper attire.  Hands can get cold quickly.  The answer?  Gloves!  Ears feeling chilly?  Find a nice beanie or a pair of ear-warmers.  A good jacket that stays dry is a wonderful investment for a child, too.  Even if it’s cold outside, your child can stay warm.   That will ensure they have a better time.

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Start small.  There’s no need to buckle up and head to the mountains to ski as a first winter outing.  Walks around the neighborhood or in the park can be just as fun for children.  Try collecting fallen leaves or pinecones to use for an art piece.

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The more the merrier!  It’s much easier to muster up the motivation to head outside if you know you’ll be part of a larger group.  Invite friends and family for an outing of any sort, and everyone is sure to have much more fun.

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Just try to remember that playing outside is a very beneficial experience for children, so don’t let the wintertime get you stuck at home.

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