It isn’t too cold just yet, but, before you know it, we’ll be reaching for our coats and wondering how we’ll survive the winter with our kids inside so much. My boys don’t sleep well without lots of activity in their day, so I try to make sure the family stays moving as much as possible. Being a mother to boys has given me ample opportunity to figure out some great indoor activities when the weather is less than pleasant. To help other families hoping to keep active, I’ve put together a list of our favorite activities below:
1. Museum Visits
We’ve talked about the great museum district in Houston before, but it bears repeating. This city has so many amazing museums at our fingertips to help us learn! The children’s museum is perfect to let loose some of the pent up energy, and the kids are given a great opportunity to see and experience new things. Families can find activities for children of every age, and it’s easy to spend a full day there. It can get crowded during school holidays, so make sure you have a plan in place before someone gets separated from the group!
I have yet to meet a kid that doesn’t enjoy bowling, but I’ve met plenty of parents who are hesitant to take their kids bowling. Between the bumpers available to use on your lanes and the dragon ramps kids can utilize, almost no one is too young to bowl. We started taking our boys a little before their second birthday, and they love the chaos and excitement of bowling in a group. What kid doesn’t enjoy getting to throw something and knock things down?
If you aren’t ready for the real thing, or you just don’t feel like leaving the house, try making a pyramid of toilet paper rolls or plastic cups and “bowling” with a beach ball.
3. Skating Rink
I know you’re shaking your head right now, but have you seen the fun little contraptions they have to help little ones skate? Even bigger kids can use them to learn how to get up and out on the rink. I know the idea of a skating rink is a bit old-fashioned, but it can be such a fun time spent as a family. Just remember to take a sense of humor along with you!
If you’re looking for an at-home version of this activity, you can do what I did as a kid. Move the cars out of the garage, turn on some music, and turn your garage into your very own roller rink.
4. Field Day
Field day is always a school time favorite, and it can be easy to re-create or update so many of those outside games into indoor activities. You may care about your floors a bit more than I do, but we like to jump rope in our kitchen. We have also had some entertaining three-legged races and derby races around the island. You can always add in a round of Simon Says, Red Light, Green Light, or Leap Frog. These days can get noisy, but it is so rewarding to see the kids get moving and have fun.
5. Dance Party
Are you a good dancer? Do you embarrass your kids when you bust a move? The good news is that a living room dance party means neither of those situations really matter. My moves might not be current or en pointe, but my boys get the biggest kick out of my dancing. More importantly, they always get out there with me to shake it. Sometimes we just have dance parties to break up tense moments or release our frustrations, but they’re especially great when the weather drives us inside, and we need to get out our wiggles.
6. Scavenger Hunt
Who doesn’t love the thrill of the hunt? My boys are crazy about scavenger hunts. Admittedly, they are primarily organized by my mother-in-law, and there is usually a prize at the end, but my boys are learning to build their reading skills, problem-solving skills, and getting a good bit of exercise in the process as they run from one place to the next.
7. Trampoline Parks
There are so many fun trampoline park options, and it is getting easier all the time to find a local place that is clean, well-kept, and interested in the safest opportunities for our kids. The kids have a blast literally bouncing off the walls, and they burn an incredible amount of energy. My knees always let me know the next day that I’m not as young as I used to be, but I especially love getting out there and jumping with my boys.
There are so many great ways to stay active, even when the weather keeps you inside. Just remember that this list helps you not just when it’s cold, but also when it’s too hot or rainy. Being stuck inside is no excuse to not be active, so get creative and keep moving. What activity are you going to try first?