The dreariness of a grey winter day can be one of the hardest feelings to shake off. Preschool winter activities for kids can help keep them active and health. A study published in Experimental Physiology showed that a 3hr period of uninterrupted sitting causes a profound (33%) reduction in vascular function in young girls. Other studies have shown that a sustained 1% decline in vascular function in adults increases cardiovascular disease risk by 13 percent. So it is important for the development and health of our children to find preschool activities that keep them active during the winter. Here are a handful of games and winter crafts for toddlers for you to get your class moving so you can avoid strapping children into all that snow gear, but keep that rosy glow in their cheeks:
- Take a cue from the weather and have an indoor snowball fight! Ball up some socks and have the kids choose safe zones to sprint to. Speaking of which…
- Build a fort! Rig an igloo out of pillows and blankets so kids can wiggle through tunnels.
- Instead of cozying up in your newly constructed ice palace for hours of iPad, whip out Wii Fit so gamers hit their nap mats hard.
- Make your own bowling game out of empty soda bottles. The bottles can even become penguins. Have kids fill them with cotton balls. Adorn with googly eyes and felt wings.
- If the kids love those penguins, have them try penguin shuffle races with hacky sacks between their feet. Fill the classroom with giggles as teams waddle across the room without dropping their “eggs.”
- Pretend to be any animal! Tell children to move like their favorite one and have everyone guess what it is. Or have kids try to find their match as partners silently walk like a duck or jump like a frog. Charades keeps kids active, but it flexes their creative muscles, too!
- A dance party is another chance to simultaneously exercise the body and mind. While you explore different genres from different cultures, teach a move or make one up. Lay out fun instruments like tambourines and shakers (or even tins and wooden spoons).
- Just like kids can make their own music, they can make their own hockey clubs. Roll up a few newspapers and tape them down. Teams can then “ice skate” across the floor on their socks.
- Lots of sports can be taken indoors if there’s room. You can always find equipment for basketball hoops, jump ropes, or small rock walls and trampolines. But you can just blow up a balloon for volleyball or tape up paper snowflake banners for hallway races.
- An indoor obstacle course can always burn off energy in record time – especially if you’re using a stopwatch for contests! Beyond the benefits of teaching motor skills, coordination, and balance, courses get kids excited about exercise. When designing your obstacles, the sky is the limit. Invest in some hula hoops and pop-up tunnels. Jump from cushion to cushion and pretend the floor is lava. Incorporate a beanbag toss and hopscotch (you can tape the outline for the board instead of using chalk).
- Sometimes when you’re trying to stick to staying fit, it’s best to make it simple. Play Simon Says (Santa Says) or roll a dice to clap, shake, kick, and skip.
Keeping kids up and active makes for some pretty adorable pics! With tend.ly’s real-time child care application communication tool, instantly let parents know their kids are having the most wonderful time of the year.