Staying Active in the Winter Months with Kids

Ever since my kids turned 5, I've noticed an explosion of energy. It almost seems self-renewing at this point where the more they use, the more they generate. This can prove challenging in the winter where we live, especially when the temperature drops below freezing like we've had the past few days. Today, I'll share some of the ways I stay active with the kids when it's too cold to go outside.

YouTube Workouts
I'm a big fan of working out using YouTube videos. I personally do yoga, the 7 minute workout, and dumbbell exercises all with YouTube. Recently, I found a couple of workout series for the kids that they really enjoy and we've been doing them every day.

We start with this beginner workout from Moe Jones. We only do Cycle One at this time, which is one round of exercises that is repeated in Cycle Two. It includes things like jumping jacks, squats, push-ups, and the running man with a short break between each exercise. My kids can't really do push-ups yet, but they try and the trying is good for them I think. I do this workout with them and it's a nice family activity.

After that, we pick a yoga routine from Cosmic Kids Yoga. My kids especially like the super yoga videos, like this one. They have a lot of other videos that are centered around a story, so it's like storytime and yoga all wrapped into one. All the yoga moves, background, and costuming are designed to match the story line. It's really well done and I wonder if it's actually a real show in the UK. 

Freeze Dance Parties and More
Besides YouTube workout videos, we do some old-fashioned running around the house. My kids will each grab one end of my yoga strap and run in circles around the hallways. Sometimes, instead of my yoga strap, they use this long snake we got at the Bronx Zoo. For some reason, it's more fun to run when you're pulling your sibling, or being pulled. Most times, at their request, I'll run after them with a water spray bottle and that ups the shriek factor.

We also have an indoor trampoline that we use for freeze dance parties. I don't know when you last jumped on a trampoline, but man, it's a lot of work! So what we'll usually do is put on the Trolls soundtrack and take turns jumping and doing dance moves on the trampoline. Each turn is one entire song. Whoever is not jumping might man the controls to stop and start the music for the "freeze" portion of the dance party. The trampoline is great because if my kids are antsy or feeling a bit out of control, I suggest they jump for a few minutes and that really helps to get the crazies out of their system.

When they were littler and before we got the trampoline, I bought them a little slide and rocking horse to get the energy out when we were stuck indoors. They still use the slide to this day. It's in our basement and I have it on this memory foam bed topper. They like to jump off the slide onto the foam and some pillows, or use pillows to slide down.

Indoor Gyms
Last year, we spent a lot of time at indoor gyms. Each one around us has a different pricing structure, and Life the Place to Be in Ardsley worked the best for us. Last time we went, they charged $12.50 for 3 kids and unlimited playtime. Their play structure is at least two stories tall with slides and tunnels. It's in a large room that has bathrooms, a water cooler, and also a side play area with ride-on vehicles like Cozy Coupes, a little playhouse, and other toys. We would usually spent about 1.5 hours here each time.

We also went to BounceU in Elmsford a couple of times and that place is a blast for the kids. It was $28 for 2 kids to bounce for 1.5 hours. There are coin-operated massage chairs for the parents to sit in, a couple of arcade games in the lobby, and 2 bounce rooms with different bounce structures. Other options in our area that we've visited are Sportime, the Play Place, and Rockin' Jump.

Is It Ever Really Too Cold to Go Outside?
I know there are people who subscribe to the notion that it's never too anything to go outside ... rainy, snowy, or freezing. I tried to live by this credo last winter, but I didn't find it to be practical where we live in Westchester, NY. Many playgrounds we tried had their gates locked in the winter, and even if they were open, they just don't get maintained in the winter months. We got a lot of snow last year, so you really couldn't slide or swing or anything with 6+ inches of snow on the playsets. Just to emphasize the no-maintenance situation, let me mention that one time, we found a dead squirrel on a playset.

In Conclusion
Finding YouTube videos we love to do has really been a game changer for us. It lets us be active indoors as a family every day, whenever we want, without having to pile in a car, pay an admission fee, or be somewhere at a certain time. The flexibility is great. There are definitely other indoor activities you can do with a bit more effort, like an indoor obstacle course. On a day-to-day basis though, I would go with YouTube videos, jumping on the trampoline, and good old-fashioned running around the hallways.


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