How to Keep Your Kids Moving When It's Cold Outside

By Jenny Steadman February 9, 2018

Staying active in the winter is always a challenge, but necessary for all of us to stay healthy, especially our growing children. How can we encourage them to keep moving and set them up for success when it's cold outside? Here are some suggestions:

  • Unless it is dangerously cold, get them outside! Keep an eye on the "feels like" temperature to know if it's safe to be outside for an extended period of time. Fresh air always wins, even when it's cold out, but kids (and adults) need to be dressed appropriately and not stay outside too long if it is super cold. Snow pants, a winter coat, hat, and waterproof gloves are a must when out in the snow. If you're supervising from inside, keep an eye on the time. Even 15-20 minutes outside is better than nothing. 
  • Dance party! Put on your family's favorite tunes and bounce around! This will get your heartbeat jumping and your blood flowing. Make up a dance routine for everyone to learn. Plus, it raises endorphins which can put anyone in a good mood.
  • Just Dance. If you have a game console, Just Dance and games like it are a great way for your kids to get their video game fix while also keeping their bodies moving.
  • is another great way to dance and move. My kids' teachers use this as a reward in their classroom. This kid-safe site has Just Dance-like videos and Kidz Bop songs to dance and sing along to. No game console needed!
  • Scavenger hunt. Being active doesn't have to work up a sweat. Set up a scavenger hunt around the house for little kids. If your kids are older, have them set up hunts for each other. 
  • Hide-and-go-seek. Make sure everyone has a chance to seek!
  • Do a puzzle or art project. Sometimes being active is less about physically moving and more about keeping your brain challenged. Working on a puzzle as a family and creating artwork are great ways to do this.
  • Twister. Play an active board game like Twister, Fitivites, or Twangled.
  • Charades, Simon Says, and Musical Chairs. These simple games are fun for all ages.  
  • Run the stairs. Challenge each other to see who can get up the stairs the fastest. 
  • Clean. I know you think I'm crazy for suggesting this, but especially young kids want to help around the house. Give them a broom while you vacuum or a cloth to wipe the counters. They may not actually do much cleaning, but they enjoy helping you and moving at the same time. 
  • Cook or Bake. Again, being active doesn't have to work up a sweat. Give your kiddo as much responsibility as possible to measure ingredients and get tools. Choose a simple recipe that won't make too much of a mess or take to long to make. They will feel proud of their accomplishment. 

The possibilities are endless but this should give you a good start!