Anyone who has kids knows they simply can’t sit still for very long. As a mother of 2 boys, I know that as much as they enjoy reading books, their little bodies are constantly in need of safe ways to channel all that pent-up energy.
Many winter days it is possible to still get outside, but for those really cold, icy winter days or those days with sickness in the house and you can’t get out, here are some ideas on getting the wiggles out at home:
1. Call an impromptu dance party
It can be for just a few minutes, but sometimes that’s all it takes. Put on some music — classical, kids songs, country, rock, the possibilities are endless — and let them dance those wiggles away.
This is a great activity to do between homeschooling subjects or if sibling tensions are rising and everyone just needs a break. Bonus points if mama joins in and gets a mini workout!
2. Play indoor tag
This one can get a little crazy, but it definitely works for the wiggles. Designate a safe part of the house for a game of indoor tag and let the kids loose. With preschoolers right now and a house on the small size, our favorite chasing area is the long hallway from the living room back to the bedrooms.
With bigger kids, more space might be required for this one, but don’t be afraid to get a little creative with a small space. Most of the time, kids really don’t care as long as they get to run and chase each other. Just keep the area free of breakables and have fun!
3. Keep indoor toys that support physical activity
Legos, blocks, and other indoor toys are wonderful for winter days, but consider having some indoor toys that help with getting the wiggles out at home.
Balls made of soft materials, toy balance boards, and jump ropes are all examples. Old pillows are great for building forts and big mountains to jump into. Role-playing costumes for the younger ages can also get little ones in “superhero” or “character” mode so they can be active while role-playing as their favorite characters.
4. Invest in indoor physical activity supporting equipment
If you have the means to invest in some bigger pieces of equipment to encourage your children’s physical activity indoors, a mini rebounder trampoline is a wonderful asset for indoor wiggles.
If you have space, I’ve even seen parents install a larger size trampoline with a wrap-around safety net in their basement for their children!
Another idea is an indoor children’s climbing gym set. These can be more pricey, but over many winter seasons and multiple children’s childhoods, it can be a good investment.
5. Play children’s audio or video programs that lead in physical activities
Whatever technology you have in your home, there are most likely children’s programs available that will sing nursery rhymes, lead your children in games, or simply sing songs.
While it may take a little time to review ones that you feel comfortable sharing with your children, these can be great resources.
One recent discovery for our family is the Animal Workout feature on Amazon’s Echo Dot Alexa device that leads children in imaginative play. Our preschooler loves pretending to be a snake or elephant or dinosaur! There are probably similar programs on YouTube for a laptop or TV.
For older children, you could look for indoor workout programs or something more targeted for their age.
6. Start a game or two that encourages movement
Children of all ages love to play active games like charades or hide and seek! Get them moving indoors hiding from siblings, acting out scenes and characters and role-playing. Older children can lead the younger ones in the game, and everyone can stretch and move their muscles together.
The last few weeks of winter can be tricky when weather is unpredictable and sickness is present in many homes. However, finding ways to help our children keep moving and busy doesn’t have to be difficult or complicated. Stick with simple and easy, and most of the time, your children will love getting the wiggles out at home.
Interested in activities available around town in the wintertime? Check out our post on Looking For Winter Activities? 7 Places To Try