Winter can be particularly frustrating for parents who want to instill healthy habits in their children. Just as you started taking your child to the dentist when they grew their first baby tooth at six months, healthy habits must start at a young age to encourage lifelong health and growth.
Of course, you shouldn’t go romping in the snow if the temperature and/or windchill dips below 13 degrees Fahrenheit (which we’ve experienced here in Minnesota recently!). Otherwise, frostbite and issues with hypothermia might arise. But for those days where it’s warm enough to soak up the sun, there are plenty of winter activities to get your kids off of the couch and into the snow.
After all, kids need fresh air and exercise to stay healthy and happy. Even though you might be tempted to spend your days curled up on the couch, getting outside is the best thing you can do to stave off the ill effects of winter. One tree alone can remove over 26 pounds of carbon dioxide from the air each year. You deserve to enjoy this fresh air.
Here are some of the best winter activities to perform with your children before winter is over.
Sledding seems like a fairly lazy activity, but pounding your way up the hill is actually a great way to promote cardiovascular health in your kids. All that effort will be worth it in the end when you achieve those few glorious seconds of weightlessness as you descend down the hill.
Try out snow art
Even if your children don’t like to run around, there are still ways to enjoy the benefits of fresh air. If your children are particularly creative, try filling a spray bottle with water and food coloring. Your kids will love spraying color onto the snow and forming fun designs and patterns. You can even use this as a learning opportunity to show them how color blending works: combine yellow and blue to make green or red and blue to make purple.
Go for a hike
One of the simplest ways to stay healthy is by walking. When you go on a winter hike, you can benefit from the fresh air, whether it’s a long walk around the park or along your favorite trails. This is also a great opportunity to introduce your children to snowshoes and even cross country skiing. Be sure to incorporate facts about safety and proper use as you introduce them to these amazing winter tools.
There are plenty of parks and nature centers to explore in the Twin Cities. One place to try out is the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. Did you know they have FREE admission all day the 3rd Monday of the month?
If you have to stay inside, encourage healthy activities indoors, as well. Whether it’s playing a fun game of hide-and-seek or strengthening social ties as you collaborate on building a blanket fort, there are tons of ways to stay active and engaged this winter!