The holiday season offers plenty of opportunities for rest and relaxation as well as tons of quality family time. That said, this season can also lead to too much downtime. With a lack of scheduled activities, kids can easily get bored and slip into a less-than-healthy routine of hanging out on the couch watching TV all day.
While you definitely want to make sure kids can rest and recharge during the holidays, you’ll also want them to stay healthy and active. That’s where Crème de la Crème comes in. We’ve put together this list of easy ways to get and keep your child active when the holidays roll around. From winter walks outdoors to laughter-filled activities in the house, there’s something every family can enjoy this year. Read on for our tips.
Give Gifts That Inspire Kids to Get Active
When it comes time to give gifts this year, include items that offer built-in activity. From balls to jump-ropes to hockey sticks, you’ll find plenty of options for any budget and any kid’s idea of exercise. Even new sneakers or a winter hat offer a reason to get outside.
Put Together a Holiday-Themed Scavenger Hunt
Design a scavenger hunt that gets the whole family into the holiday spirit while you get active. You can place items throughout the house (or even outside) and have the kids check items off the list as they uncover them. Think things like ornaments and decorations, candy or other holiday treats, and even small gifts. We’ll bet the prospect of a prize will get the kiddos moving in no time.
Transform Your Home Into a (Fun-Filled) Gym Class
Time to get chores done? Assign each family member an age-appropriate task, and turn those chores into a fitness class. Turn the music up to get everyone pumped up and ready to move. This is a great opportunity to get everyone involved in holiday decorating, too. If you don’t have household chores to take care of, you can also have a family competition or party to get everyone moving. Even if it turns into a laughing session, you’ll get in a form of exercise!
Look to Healthy Snacks to Keep Kids Feeling Their Best
‘Tis the season of candy canes, fudge-y treats … and stomachaches. Yes, holiday time should be fun, so let your kids indulge sometimes. But stick to healthy snacks between meals to keep kids ready to get active. Fresh fruits, nutrient-rich bars, and yogurt can go a long way to keep kids feeling their best while they’re on the move.
Turn Holiday Shopping Into an Opportunity for Exercise
Take the kids with you when you’re stocking up on gifts, then use the time for some exercise. Walk as much as you can. If you can get between stores on foot instead of driving, get those steps in.
Eat Like the Locals Do
If you’re heading out of town this season, look into kid-friendly restaurants before you hit the road. Authentic meals are often healthier. Greasy burgers are great every once in awhile, but you can use this season to inspire kids to try new flavors, too. Make reservations in advance so you’re not scrambling with cranky kids in tow.
Staying close to home this year? Take it as an excuse to try out that wholesome, delicious recipe you’ve been putting off, and treat the whole family to a just-because special night at home, even when you’re not celebrating a holiday. Healthy food makes kids feel better, and kids that feel better are more apt to stay active.
Stick to a Sleep Schedule
Sure, it can be tempting to stay up late and sleep in when there’s nowhere to go the next day. Keeping kids well-rested makes the whole season easier, though. Try to keep kids under 6 as close to their usual bedtimes (and nap times) as you can when holiday activities allow.
You can also allow for a day here and there during the holidays when kids can sleep as late as they want, especially after a long day traveling or enjoying the festivities. Kids will be more likely to agree to activities if they’ve gotten enough sleep.
Make Time for Outdoor Activities
Finally, when the whole family has free time together, make it an excuse to enjoy the outdoors. If it’s warm enough where you live, head out for a bike ride or a walk. You can simply enjoy your own neighborhood or trek to a nearby park.
Even if the temperatures during holiday season are downright frigid where you live, you can still get out for some seasonal fun. Bundle up for a shorter stroll close to home to get everyone moving. You can make this into a holiday lights walk to check out the decorations people have put up to get into a celebratory mood.
You can also look up local, seasonal activities such as ice skating to add a fun twist to staying active. Many places have ice skating rinks or arenas nearby where you can rent skates and get in on seasonal fun.
No matter what this season is like where you live, make it a point to embrace the local weather. If you live in a snowy area, get out with the kids to build a snowman or fort or to make snow angels together. Live in a rainy area? Give the kids the go-ahead for puddle jumping (once you put on your waterproof boots, of course!). You can even visit a local trail if the weather permits or just play soccer or tag in your own yard.
There you have it! Crème de la Crème’s tips for keeping the kids active this holiday season. Whether your kids love intense activities such as skiing or ice skating or they’d rather hang out at home, you’re sure to find a suggestion that expires you on this list. Do you have a creative way you keep your kids engaged during the holidays that we didn’t think of? Drop us a line so we can add your fun idea to our list!