Keep Kids Active in Colder Months

Child in ear muffs


As the temperature drops, most people spend more time indoors, including children. It often takes more planning to keep kids moving while days are shorter and colder. 

Here are a few ideas to help you keep them moving, as well as many others you can find online.

Things to Try Instead of Screen Time

  • Snow Day -- Bundle up and head outside on a snowy day. Work together to create snow creatures or a village of snow people.
  • Walk -- Take a Columbus Art Walk to be active while seeing great public art, architectural and historical sites around Columbus.
  • Treasure Hunt -- Hide an item and place clues around the house or around the yard (use picture cues for little ones, harder phrases for older children), directing kids to hunt for a hidden prize. 
  • Indoor Fort -- Drape a large sheet over your kitchen table, add a chair on either side to hold up the ends for extra room. 
  • Put on a Play -- Act out your child's favorite book, acting out the movements to the story as you read it.  Use dress up clothes for costumes. 
  • Basketball -- Play basketball with a soft foam or sponge ball and the hoop can be any basket or receptacle (either hung on the wall or resting on the floor). Have kids shoot from different parts of the room or in different ways. 
  • Little Helpers -- Allow your child to help with chores like vacuuming, dusting or sweeping - even if it takes longer than doing it by yourself.
  • Hide and Seek around the house.
  • Freeze Dance - Play music and stop it without warning. The person who stops first or stops holding the funniest position wins that round.

More ideas from Healthy Children, Healthy Weights

Put 1 hour of physical activity into your child's day.

It doesn't have to be 60 minutes all at once – it can be different activities that add up to 1 hour. Fun activities that children do on their own are often the best. Playing tag or hide–and–seek can be great for burning calories.

Be sure your child is doing different types of activity, including:

  • Aerobic activities like running, skipping, or dancing
  • Muscle–strengthening activities like climbing trees or playground equipment
  • Bone–strengthening activities like jumping rope or playing basketball

More Information