Tuesday, 3 January 2012

6 fun ways to keep your child active indoors

Happy New Year to you all! Hope your Christmas was enjoyable and that 2012 has started off well.

The new year in London has been pretty cold and wet so far. After a whole day spent indoors today, I was thinking about how my son was getting his fix of physical activity (see here for the UK guidelines for children under 5).

If you have lively little ones at home, you'll probably be finding the winter months more of a challenge for keeping their energy levels sufficiently satisfied, with less time spent outside. Of course you can (and should) wrap up warm and get outside when possible for some fresh air and a brisk walk or run around, but with the cold weather and shorter days, your time outside will nevertheless be limited. With that in mind, here are some suggestions for keeping active indoors:

Dance! Put on some lively music in your living room and have a good dance around with your child. You could also play games like musical bumps, musical chairs or simple 'freezing' on the spot when the music stops to make it more fun.

Balloons. Bounce balloons up in the air and try to keep them from hitting the floor or hit them to and from each other like volleyball.

Paper aeroplanes. Make some simple paper aeroplanes and fly and chase them around the house.

Follow the leader. Take turns leading around the house marching, jumping, skipping with children/parents/siblings/friends following.

Obstacle course. Space permitting, create an indoor obstacle course with cushions to jump over, objects to run around, maybe tables to crawl under....

Running / chasing. Whilst you do need to exercise care running around a home and amongst other family members, running and chasing games can still be enjoyed. Up and down a hallway, stairs, or in and out of every room can make for fun active play. 

Do you have some other ideas to share? How do you keep your children active during the colder, darker months of the year?
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