Teaching children to stay active isn't always the easiest of tasks, especially during the winter months. The nights are darker, the days are shorter and excuses are easier. Installing healthy habits into children is something teachers, parents and carers pursue all year. Yes, sometimes it happens naturally during summer months as kids are draped in rays and feel the need to be outdoors. However, when the cold snaps of winter start calling, the task becomes increasingly harder.
Newby Leisure believe that the winter months should also be fulfilled as much as the summer. Getting children active is always top of the tree with regards to a healthy lifestyle. So, how do we get the kids outdoors in winter?
Generally, you'll find there is much more going on outdoors in the winter season than you'd think. Ice rinks are a good starting point. Being as they are fun for all the family (regardless of age), most towns will have a temporary ice rink during the run-up to Christmas. Even if you haven't quite mastered the art of standing up in skates, you're guaranteed a good hour of fun! It helps get the heart pumping and encourages social interaction.
Visit the local park.
Going to the park is an obvious choice for many. Wrap up and put on your winter boots! You never quite know what to expect from a park visit. Wide open spaces tend to give children freedom for their imaginations to run wild and boost activity levels. Not to mention most have some sort of clamber facility to get the kids moving and developing physical skills.
Contact your local YMCA.
YMCA's across the county will usually have some sort of activities planned or the Christmas holidays. It's always an idea to keep in touch just in case they are offering something that may benefit your child on a physical or educational level.
Wish for snow.
All children wish for snow. And it's no secret adults do too. Getting amongst the snow is a fantastic release for all age groups. The joy of getting out in the cold will come naturally with a white blanket to dive into, roll around in and build various snow objects. Head down to the local field and mix with crowds of people to build snowmen, sleigh and enjoy the age old favorite.... a snow ball fight!
Utilise Christmas presents.
All children have an extensive Christmas list of the latest toy trends and gadgets. But most will also be craving things including a bike, scooter, football, goal posts, trampoline and so on. Make sure these items aren't just for show and get the kids using them straight away (if conditions are safe enough to do so). If they play with them at least once a day, the product is doing its job in getting children outdoors and active.
Activity at any time of the year is important. The more we get our children outside, the better they will be physically, educationally and socially in later life. Adapting the the cold weather can take a bit of time, but once children become used to the outdoors in winter, they'll love it. Just an hour of physical exercise a day will:
- Help strengthen their bones and muscles
- Increases children’s self-confidence and belief
- Teaches them the importance of exercise
- Helps keep their mental state of mind healthy
- Your child will be less likely to become overweight
- Exercise will reduce the risk of your child developing type 2 diabetes
- Children will have better outlook on life
- Making new friends
- leadership skills
- Positive behaviour
- Trying out new sports and activities
- Learning new skills
- Positive attitude
“Together, we’re better”.