When winter takes over and the weather has most people indoors, it can be tough to keep kids moving and active. The change in weather shouldn’t mean that all the fun and exercise should stop. Check out these ideas for keeping kids active during the winter months.
Winter Activity Ideas for After School Groups
After school activities are a wonderful way to introduce group activities and continued education after the school day has ended. Many after school groups participate in physical activities or sports, and can be an excellent method of increasing time spent in motion during the chilly winter months.
Indoor group activities can still get the heart pumping during the winter. Find some space (the amount you’ll need depends on the size of group) and get things moving! Check out any of these blog posts and lesson plans for ideas and inspiration for indoor physical activities to try with an after school group:
Sugar and Fat Tag: You’ll need four cones, two fluffballs, music, a whiteboard with two colored markers, and two bean bags. Choose one person to be sugar, and one to be fat, and play the music. While the music is playing, sugar and fat try to take as many people as possible with their fluffballs which freezes them. To be saved from being frozen by fat or sugar, untagged students tap a frozen person on the shoulder and they must name a fruit or vegetable to be saved.
Snakes and Lizards: You’ll need four cones, spot markers, a tiny object for students to hold (button, pebble, etc), and music. Pair up students (one person in the pair is a snake and the other is a lizard) have each pair stand by a spot marker. Give each snake an object and have them stand on the spot marker (or rock). Lizards have to walk around the snake and then guess which hand contains the small object.
Line Boogie: You’ll need four cones, one bean bag for every four students, and some music. Create groups of four and have them stand in a single file line. The goal is to get the beanbag from the front of the line to the back of the line without dropping by handing it overhead. The last person in the line runs the beanbag back to the front and the line continues passing the beanbag until the music stops.
- Heart Healthy Physical Activities/Games
- Fitting in Physical Activity with Limited Space
- How Can We Help Kids Reach 60-a-day?
Of course, indoor activities aren’t always the only option. If the weather is mild enough and kids are bundled up, there are plenty of fun and healthy physical activities that can be played outdoors during the colder winter months. Try out any of the above activities outdoors, or challenge your students to an activity from one of these blog posts or SPARK activities:
Partner Walk/Jog and Talk: Pair students up and have them walk or jog together while keeping conversation going. Use conversation starters like favorite books, movies or physical activities. The goal is to keep moving and keep talking for a designated amount of time, and then switch partners!
Motivating Students to Stay Active in Winter
Another part of keeping students engaged in physical activity in the winter is through encouragement and by developing goals and motivation. Help students to remain motivated to participate in physical activity in the following ways:
Goal-setting is a great skill to learn, and follow-through and self-discipline can help students to feel empowered and motivated. Guide students through the process of setting realistic, measurable goals for themselves. Then be sure to partner with them in check-ins and encouragement to follow through.
Setting an Example
Another way to motivate students is by being an example. Talk about how you’ve incorporated physical activity into your life, and how you’ve been sticking to goals you set for yourself. Being open and honest both about successes and failures will help students to see how perseverance and making the right choices is something they can work on every day.
Find More After School Group Games and Activities
If you’re looking for more inspiration and ideas for keeping kids engaged in physical activities during the winter months, check out the other blog posts in the Out of School and Physical Education categories. Also be sure to stop by the online store and take advantage of the huge selection of tools and supplies for any student activity or project.