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Surviving the Winter With Kids: Energy Burning Activities

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Surviving. This is often how I feel about winter, and last year was no exception. Each and every year, I get a bad case of the winter doldrums. And trying to survive the winter with kids stuck inside with too much energy only adds an extra challenge. Being stuck inside most of the winter is exhausting, overwhelming & stressful in a whole new way.

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    January 29th. It was the day I decided that I was done with winter for the year. I was done with the stale air of having the windows closed up, and I was done with having the mess of family life around me 24/7. I was done with eating every meal inside, and I was more than done with the same surroundings day after day. Plain and simple, I was done.

    Here are some ideas about surviving the winter with kids so they can burn off some energy

    surviving the winter with kids

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    Winters can be so long when living in the North. Every year, it is about this time when tempers become short. The sheer boredom of living a near sedentary life when compared to the glorious freedom that the great outdoors offers becomes like a siren wailing of the impending tornado just a short distance away.

    In reality, the siren’s wailing would have warned my family. In fact, it would have even warned myself. The siren would have told me of the tornado-like destruction that my mouth was about to leave in its wake. I didn’t catch myself quite in time. But once I did, I realized that what was at the heart of my “these walls are closing in on me and there is a mess EVERYWHERE” tantrum was the need for everyone to get some excess energy out while having some fun in the process.

    This simple exercise in getting some exercise has always been welcomed by everyone from my teens to my toddlers.

    The next time your kids are needing some exercise or you need to get out of your own winter doldrums, try these exercises that will surely break up the monotony of being stuck inside.

    • start by running some stairs. Everyone is required to do a certain amount of stair running. Usually this equals about 3 minutes of non-stop running up and down. You will know it is enough when everyone is out of breath


    • jumping jacks.  A good 50 or so


    • by now a song will be in order so that everyone can catch their breath


    • good old fashioned sit-ups…and make sure that kids help one another by holding each other’s feet (family togetherness can’t hurt, right?)


    • and of course push ups will follow…these don’t have to be pretty, or “legal” for that fact


    • now would be a perfect time for a quick game of “name that quote” something such as, “I regret that I have only one life to give for my country,” after all this is a school day!


    • I usually like to end with a simple, 10 minute game of duck, duck, goose, or hide and go seek.


    It is amazing what getting the blood flowing, breaking up the mundane day after day dullness, and even some laughter will do for the soul. Winter can be so long when going outside just isn’t practical, but there is a reason why recess is an important part of the day, both in school and in our homes!

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