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Tips for keeping your kids active this winter

Being active is a great way to keep your child healthy at any age. Wondering how you can help your kids get active this winter? We’ve got some fun indoor winter activities to get the whole family up and moving!

Mother and daughter skiing

Make playtime active time

For infants: Simple things like playing, reaching, grabbing, and having “tummy time” (always with an adult watching!) help babies grow and develop into healthy children. Give your baby plenty of chances to stretch - a playmat with toys suspended above him will give him the opportunity to kick and reach. Look at your local park, recreation centers and libraries for classes and programs that parents and infants can do together.

For toddlers: Toddlers need to move and jump every day. Play catch by rolling a ball back and forth. Follow the leader. Have a dance party! Act out part of your toddler’s favorite book together. Walk and move like different animals (jump like a bunny, crawl like a crab). Play hide and seek or ring around the rosy.

For preschoolers: As your child grows, so will their activity level. Help your young child use some of that extra energy with fun active games. Children of preschool age are beginning to understand rules and game play so consider getting them involved in introductory sports programs or swim lessons. Build an obstacle course with couch cushions and “tunnels” of light blankets draped over chairs. Bundle up and play outside! (Read our recent article about how to dress your young child for winter.)

Limit TV time

Parents pulling child on sledNo matter the age, too much time in front of the television or tablet isn’t healthy. In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics says “Children who watch a lot of TV (more than 2 hours a day) are more likely to be overweight or obese as they get older.” It’s okay to have some screen time but it’s all too easy for screen time to get a bit out of hand during the cold winter months.

As your child grows, set clear time limits on how long they can watch tv and consider allowing it only at certain times of day. Be choosy about what you let them watch or play. There are some great educational programs, apps and video games available, make sure your child is benefitting from their screen time. Cut back on screen time by adding in some of these downtime activities instead:
  • Audio books: available at your library or online, audio books are a fun way to hear a story in voices and with sound effects.
  • Story time: of course, reading aloud to your child is a wonderful activity all year round and one that is so important for their development.
  • Craft time: work on fine motor skills by coloring, cutting, pasting and playing with play dough. 

Be a role model

Young children love to mimic their parents. If you live a healthy, active lifestyle, your child is more likely to want to do the same.


Focused care for active kids

As your child begins to be more active, you’ll need a pediatrician who understands how to treat them. Wondering if your child is ready for sports? Talk to Northpoint Pediatrics. We offer a full range of Sports Services for kids of all ages.

Check out our app NP PEDS MD for further information and home care advice.

Baby girl with pony tail in white