Indoor-Friendly Activities for Winter
As colder months usher more kids inside and winter breaks lead to sedentary habits, you might find yourself wondering, “How can I keep my kids active in a fun, indoor-friendly way?” This is particularly important after kids have been challenged mentally and physically by the COVID-19 pandemic. Studies show that increased sedentary time leads to worsened mental health outcomes, making play and exercise essential to include in your winter routine.
Fortunately, BOKS is dedicated to keeping kids active and helping them establish a lifelong commitment to health and fitness, regardless of their location. Read on for minimal-equipment, home-friendly activities for the whole family:
1) Make every day fun with the BOKS Winter Fun Pack! With new games, crafts, healthy recipes, and more, the Winter Fun Pack is your go-to guide for keeping your family healthy and active.
BOKS Winter Fun Pack: Mirror Image (Page 7 of 2021 Winter Fun Pack)
Stand face to face, 6 feet (2 metres) apart.
- One kid is the “leader” and the other kid follows exact movements by mimicking them as if they were a mirror image (no verbal communication at all).
- Kids can practice different skills such as squatting, jumping jacks and mountain climbers as well as yoga poses/balances.
- Leader leads for 30-45 seconds then switches roles.
- Hints: Put a list of skills on a poster or board.
- Variation/Challenge: Have someone try to figure out who the leader is for each pair as they perform their movements.
2) Structured activities aren’t just for schools or youth organizations – adding structure to your kids’ days off can help them develop a healthy routine! That’s why BOKS Physical Activity Plans at a Distance are a great way for your whole family to stay active with 20-40 minutes of activities. You’ll see a warm up, running-related activity, skill of the week, game, and cool down in each of the lessons, all with little to no equipment.
- BOKS Physical Activity Plans at a Distance: Lesson #1 Skill of the Week and Game (Page 8 Physical Activity Plans at a Distance 1.0)
3) Bring outdoor activities inside for short bursts of fun with BOKS Bursts! These 1-10-minute long activities are designed to be done anywhere, anytime to creatively help kids reach 60 minutes of physical activity each day.
BOKS Burst: Alpine Action (Page 23 of BOKS Burst Movement Breaks)
- Sit in your chair (facing the front of the room) with your legs lifted and flexed. Move side-to-side as if skiing down a hill (eyes looking at the front of the room).
- Sit in your chair (chair positioned sideways) with your legs lifted and flexed. Move back and forth as if snowboarding down a hill (eyes looking at the front of the room).
- Rest one knee on your chair and stand on the other leg. Hop back and forth without moving the leg on the chair while your arms move back and forth in a cross-country skiing motion.
- Drop to the ground with your belly on the floor. Lift your feet and arms off the floor, in a superhuman position, and pretend you are a biathlon athlete aiming at a target. Get up and jog on the spot for 10 seconds.
4) Turn classic games into physical exercise with BOKS: Are You Game? These games are designed to increase kids’ physical activity without them even realizing it. Get ready for the entire family to have a blast with these activities!
Are You Game? Indoor Shuffleboard (Page 9 of Are You Game?)
- Tape two “10×10” squares about 15 feet across from each other.
- Get a box, frisbee, plastic plate or any small item that can be slid across the floor.
- Kids stand at opposite taped squares.
- Player 1 kicks the item (box, frisbee, plate) trying to get it into the opponents’ taped square. If the item lands with any portion in the taped square, the kid who kicked it gets a point.
- First kid to score 5 points wins.
5) Physical activity does so much for our minds, but our minds can impact our bodies too! Take a few moments to connect your mind and body with BOKS Mindfulness and Movement Flows. From breathing, gratitude, and mindfulness to stretching and movement flows, these short activities are perfect to do at home with all family members!
Mindfulness and Movement Flows: Heartbeat Exercise (Page 11 of Mindfulness and Movement Flows)
- This activity explores how we can use our heartbeat to check in with ourselves and activate our mindful practices. Mindfulness has the ability to improve things like focus, planning and organizing- things that are really important in our day-to-day in the classroom become much easier through practicing mindfulness.
- Start by setting a timer for 1 full minute and picking an activity that you can do to get your heart rate up (e.g.; fire feet, jumping jacks, squat jumps).
- Make sure it is something you can do for the full minute.
- Once you’ve completed your minute of activity, have a seat on the ground, get nice and comfortable, and take your hands and place them over your heart.
- Take some time to just notice how your heartbeat feels. Is it fast? Is it slow?
- Can we use our heartbeat to slow down?
This is just a sampling of activities you can try to keep kids moving this winter!
Note: All of the resources referred to in this article can be found in your BOKS Trainer Hub. If you are not already signed up to BOKS, make sure to sign up today to gain access to these FREE resources.