Helping kids of all ages to live a more active life through FUNctional movement.
Hey there! Are you wondering what to do with your kids during this snow-free holiday break? We are too! Here are some ideas we came up with to get our kids moving and busy, indoors and out. Have fun!
Create a list of items for kids to find around the house or in the backyard. Make it more exciting by incorporating movements like hopping, skipping, or crab-walking to find each item.
Have a family dance party with festive music. Encourage everyone to come up with their own dance moves and have a blast dancing together. Bring it to the next level with fun costumes.
They say there’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing. So put on your layers and rain or snow gear and take a nature walk in a nearby park or nature reserve. Encourage kids to run, jump, and play along the way. Make nature montages using leaves, acorns and rocks.
There are a number of NCC trails in Ottawa that have free parking. Try the Jack Pine Trail where you can feed birds, and Beaver Trail where you may see some wild turkeys. Or check out the South March Highlands Conservation Forest, the Old Quarry Trail in Kanata, or Mer Bleue Bog Trail (although check first to see if the trails are open).
Set up an indoor obstacle course using household items. Include activities like jumping over cushions, crawling under tables, and balancing on a line. Even better, take it outdoors and get some fresh air at the same time. Jump over logs, go under tree branches, and around trees.
Go for a family bike ride around the neighborhood or in a nearby park. On many days over the holidays, the weather will be warm enough to do so.
Organize a mini Olympics in your backyard with events like a three-legged race, sack race, and tug-of-war. Get creative with medals or ribbons for the winners. Invite neighbors, friends and family to join in the fun. Amp it up by doing the Reindeer Games Mini Olympics with activities like the Candy Cane Limbo, Sack Race, and Jingle Bell Toss.
Have a hula hoop competition. See who can keep the hula hoop going the longest or come up with creative tricks. Try jumping through the hoops in different ways. Try these ideas from @ctkidscentre.
Create a countdown using balloons filled with movement activities. Each hour, pop a balloon and do the activity written inside, such as jumping jacks, cartwheels, or a quick dance session. This could be especially fun on New Years’ Eve as you count down the hours to the new year.
Spend the day playing different sports together. It could be soccer, basketball, or even a friendly game of family kickball. You could also try road hockey, or badminton.
Act out different animal movements and have others guess the animal. This is a fun way to get everyone moving and laughing. Most animal movements are a good challenge for the core. You could make this last a bit longer by having everyone try the animal moves once they are guessed. Use these free printable cards for your game.
Introduce basic parkour movements in a safe environment. Set up challenges like jumping over small obstacles or balancing on a low beam. You do need to be careful and make sure your environment is safe. Check out some tips here.
If there’s snow, you could head outside and do the original real snowball fight. If it’s too cold outside (or we still don’t have enough snow), have a soft indoor snowball fight using cotton balls or balled-up socks. Create forts and let the fun begin.
End the two weeks with a family relay race. Include various challenges like running, hopping, and rolling. You can make it even more fun by having a prize for the winning team.
Let us know which activities you tried, and which ones you liked best. Tag us at #playonpediatric
If you need more structure this winter to support your kid’s getting active – check out our line-up of small group classes – like Yoga for Kids, Mini Muscle Movers, Core Strengthening and more! These classes are all held in our clinic here in Barrhaven (West Ottawa), Ontario.