Slowing Down, from the Fred Rogers April 2022 newsletter
February 23, 2019
How to Stay Moving in the Cold Winter Months
With all the snow and cold weather the winter season brings, you may be wondering “What’s the easiest way to keep my kids moving?” We found some ideas from our friends at Pop Hop & Rock and compiled some fun ideas you can try with your little ones inside, when it’s too chilly to be burning their energy outside.
- If you have stairs in your house you can pretend to go mountain climbing and tell stories to go along with each climb. Talk about snow on the mountain and how it snows harder at the top, and sometimes when at the top we can’t see the bottom, and so on. Each time you climb the stairs, aka mountain, you can add a new piece to the story. Result: heart pumping, brain building, big aerobic movement, crossing the midline, patterning, upper and lower body work.
- Full body Rock/Paper/Scissors. Have the child get a partner (a sibling, friend or you!) and proceed to jump three times counting with each jump: 1, 2, 3. Then they either do rock (feet together), paper (feet apart) or scissors (feet split, one forward one back). One person wins and gets a point. Play until you reach a “best of” number of wins! Result: heart pumping, brain building, big aerobic movement, crossing the midline, proprioceptive stimulation.
- Incorporate movement into some math fun. Depending on your child’s age, practice some math problems that are age appropriate. The easiest way is to do jumping jacks, pushups, burpees or mountain climbers for a numerical answer. If the answer is 15, then 15 mountain climbers it is. But this doesn’t have to be numerical. What if the answer is from multiple choice? A is 10 mountain climbers, B is 15 jumping jacks, C is 10 pushups, D is 15 situps, and so on.
- Dance Party! This is a great way to get kids moving and have lots of fun. The key is picking the right music — music they like, so ask them to help pick the soundtrack.
Keep in mind, children learn best when the adults in their lives are committed participants in the process. Children are more likely to get moving if the grownups, teachers, parents and other adults in their lives are moving too. Make it a fun part of your day you can share together!
Thanks to our friends at Pop, Hock & Rock and to Preston Blackburn, the creator of this wonderful program and a member of our Health and Wellness Advisory Board.