This post is brought to you by Abercrombie Kids. While this was a sponsored post opportunity, all content and opinions expressed here are my own.
If you’re looking for ways to keep kids active this winter, you’ve come to the right place!
As a mom to a feisty 7-year-old, I am always on the hunt for ways to keep my daughter active once the cooler weather hits. While my husband and I aren’t exactly outdoorsy people and prefer to spend our Winter weekends curled up on the couch, experience has taught me the importance of spending time outdoors each day. Whether the 3 of us are shoveling snow, walking to our local grocery store, or doing something more exciting and active like sledding or ice skating, I always notice an improvement in our moods and the quality of our sleep when we get a little fresh air and Vitamin D.
Of course, doing the same things weekend after weekend can become pretty boring, and since Canadian winters last forever and a day (LOL), I make it a point to come up with a list of family-friendly Winter activities each year. This ensures I always have ideas at the ready when I notice my little one is starting to get cabin fever, and helps keep our weekends and holidays a bit more interesting so we’re actually motivated to bundle up and get outside.
Most of these ideas are designed to be enjoyed as a family, but I threw in a few independent activities to keep kids occupied while you rake leaves, shovel snow, or enjoy a warm mug of hot chocolate from the sidelines.
8 Ways to Keep Kids Active this Winter
As I mentioned earlier, my husband and I aren’t really outdoorsy people, but one thing that’s made a huge difference in helping us enjoy time outside with our daughter is to dress appropriately for the weather. I set aside time every fall to inspect our winter gear to ensure it all fits and is in good working order, and since my sweet girl grows like a weed each year, I usually invest in an entire new winter wardrobe for her. And it’s worth every penny! When we feel comfortable, stylish, and WARM in our gear, we’re much more likely to enjoy our time outdoors.
This year I decided on the a&f essential puffer and pom beanie from Abercrombie Kids for my little fashionista, and they are equal parts warm and stylish. I love all of the in-store and online deals Abercrombie offers throughout the year. For example, all bottoms (including the jeans my sweet girl is wearing in the photo above!) are BOGO 50% off until November 20, 2018, and all sweatshirts and sweaters are on sale for $25 and up until November 20, 2018 as well. They even offer free shipping over $75!
And now for those ideas to keep kids active this winter…
Go on a nature walk. The first time I suggested we go on a family nature walk, my daughter rolled her eyes at me. ‘That sounds boring!’ she exclaimed, but when I explained that I wanted to gather supplies for a nature project I wanted to create with her, she perked up. We spent our time outdoors collecting leaves, pine cones, rocks, and twigs, stopped at our local coffee shop for a hot chocolate and a snack, and then headed home to create some art. I set my daughter up with a large sheet of paper and some glue so she could get creative with the leaves and twigs we’d collected, and once the novelty of that idea wore off, we spent some time painting rocks and pine cones together. It was a success!
Play house outside. Another fun way to keep kids active this winter is to gather together household items you don’t mind parting with, like old bowls, cups, ice trays, and wooden spoons, and then allowing your kids to get creative and dirty outside. You will be amazed at how much they enjoy digging, packing, and creating with dirt, mud, leaves, rocks, snow, and any other materials they can get their hands on. I find this is a great independent activity my daughter can enjoy while my husband and I rake leaves or shovel snow, which is a win-win.
Make and fly a kite. We tend to have a lot of windy days in the Fall and Winter here in Toronto, which can make the cold weather feel even colder. Admittedly, I would prefer not to go outside at all when the wind picks up and curl up with a good book like my sweet girl is doing in the photo below, but last year I decided to get creative and suggested we make kites and try to fly them outside, which ended up being a great indoor AND outdoor activity all of us could participate in and enjoy.
Love this Choose Kind shirt? I got it from Abercrombie Kids!
Gets yours HERE and enjoy free shipping over $75!
Proceeds from each Choose Kind t-shirt sale benefits PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center. And remember, if you sign up for the A&F club, you will enjoy $10 off purchases of $50+!
Dig for treasure. If your kids enjoy scavenger hunts as much as my daughter does, but you’d prefer to stay close to home, another fun way to keep kids active this winter is to organize a dig in your backyard. Section off a specific area, and then hide a collection of small items under leaves, rocks, dirt, mud, and/or snow for your little one to find. I usually use plastic eggs for this activity as they are easy to spot, and I don’t mind them getting wet and dirty!
Blow frozen bubbles! We blow a lot of bubbles in the summer months, but last winter we tried blowing FROZEN bubbles, and it was a lot of fun. We first experimented with store-bought bubbles, but had no success, and after doing a quick search on Pinterest, I found an easy recipe for frozen bubbles that works every single time. I have no idea where I originally found the recipe, so I can’t give appropriate credit for it here, but it seems this is the recipe most people use, so give it a try!
1 ½ cups water
½ cup dish soap
¼ cup corn syrup
Paint in the snow. My mom bought my daughter a snow art kit last year, which is definitely high on my list of suggested activities to keep kids active this winter, and it inspired me to think of other ways we can get creative with the snow. Last year we added water and food coloring to spray and squirt bottles and had a lot of fun decorating our backyard. This activity is definitely messy and can stain clothes, which is why I always choose dark winter gear for my sweet girl!
Organize a scavenger hunt. What I love most about scavenger hunts is that you can make them as simple or complicated as you want to. You can go all out and create a themed scavenger hunt with lists and clues, or you can do what I do and simply write a bunch of items on a sheet of paper, bundle everyone up in their winter gear, and enjoy a family walk while your little one tries to spot everything on his or her list.
Have fun with science! Science experiments are a great way to have fun both indoors and outdoors during the cold weather months. Erupting volcanoes are one of my favorites as you can make them as big or small as you want, and they are super easy to make. We did these with apples when my daughter was little, but last year we made snow volcanoes in the backyard and they were a hit! All I did was add a few scoops of baking soda, dish soap, and food coloring to a plastic water bottle, and then my daughter and I built a snow volcano around it, ensuring the top of the water bottle was unobstructed and positioned at the top. Once we were ready, we poured vinegar into the top of the water bottle and watched as our snow volcano ‘erupted’. It was so much fun and we can’t wait to do it again this year. Don’t have snow in your neck of the woods? Consider making a dirt and leaf volcano instead!
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these tops make great Christmas gifts and they’re currently on sale for $25!
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A friend of mine recently posted a meme on Facebook that said:
If you choose not to find joy in the snow,
you will have less joy in your life
but still the same amount of snow.
I love this quote as it reminds me that the difference between a good day and a bad day is my attitude, and inspires me to find new and exciting ways to spend time and have fun with my family, regardless of how cold and miserable the weather is.
I hope this collection of ideas to keep kids active this winter helps you as much as it’s helped me!
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