Keeping kids active all winter long

When you picture outdoor activities you can do with your kids, do you automatically imagine a warm, summer day?  Many people don’t realize how much fun they can have as a family during a New England winter.  As long as kids are dressed warmly, there are lots of fun, age-appropriate activities that can kids get moving.

 Lately we’ve been hit pretty hard with the snow. Luckily, the options for playing in it are endless!

 Making snow angels, building snow-people, shaping snow balls and creating snow-houses are great ways to be active in the snow.

Want to go sledding, but don’t have a sled?  Use an old chair cushion covered with a plastic bag for a quick and easy sledding solution! A fun game you can play with the kids is walking across the yard and then hopping back, trying to land only on the footprints you made. It’s okay if they can’t do this perfectly, as long as they’re up and hopping around!

Many parents look puzzled when I say that children can help shovel snow – not only are they capable, they actually enjoy it!  If you have a car, they can help remove snow with a soft brush or broom. These can be fun little jobs that are easy for kids to manage and get all their muscles moving.

Bundle up and take a winter stroll with your children, and make up games you can play along the way. For example, ask your children to see how many different birds you can spot in your yard or neighborhood.

If things get too chilly, you can still keep moving indoors as well: have a dance party, march up and down stairs, or play follow the leader.

Remember, being active doesn’t have to be hard work. As long as kids are moving, every little bit counts. For more fun tips on how to help children of all ages be active, visit www.mass.gov/massinmotion.

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