If you live in a rainy place like I do, you've experienced days where everyone in the house is restless. It's hard to exercise outdoors when it's rainy, especially if it's windy and cold as well. Children need to be active no matter what the weather.
The United States Department of Health and Human Services recommends children and teens get 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity on most days — even rainy days. To make this happen, here are six ideas to keep your family moving when the weather isn't cooperating.
1. Have a dance party
This is a favorite in our house. We turn on the tunes and dance away our rainy day blues. Create a playlist beforehand, with everyone choosing a few favorite songs, or pick some from this Spotify playlist
Or you can make your own music from a piano or other instrument if you're up for that.
Small children may like to dance with props like shakers and scarves. Make these easy shakers from paper towel rolls and rice.
See the instructions here.
Older children enjoy seeing their parents show off their dance moves, and adults will be surprised how much energy it takes to keep dancing!
2. Make an indoor obstacle course
Your obstacle course could include crawling through tunnels or boxes, jumping rope, throwing balls into a makeshift hoop, climbing over a mountain of pillows and somersaulting to the finish line. Creating the obstacle course together will be as fun as trying it out.
We liked these simple ideas:
Image source: imgur.com
3. Set up a circuit
Teach your children how to do basic exercises like sit-ups, push-ups, jumping jacks, toe touches, and hopping on one leg. Older children can be taught simple weight lifting moves, such as bicep curls, with light weights. Set up a circuit with one exercise for each family member. Rotate through the circuit, with one minute on each exercise. Be sure to use positive words and encourage your children. Small children may lack the coordination to do these exercises properly, but they can still participate.
4. Play an active video game
Most video game consoles, like Wii or Xbox, offer active games to play. Wii Fit and Kinect Sports are two examples. These games simulate sports like basketball, bowling, tennis and baseball. They also have recreational sports like skiing, martial arts and balance games. There are also dance-based video games like the Just Dance series on Wii, which offer fitness options.
5. Make a stained glass window
Isn't this the cutest idea? Allow them to be as creative as their little heart wants by creating some window space.
See the source here.
6. Work out to a fitness video together
If you do not have any fitness videos in your home, libraries offer them for loan, or you can try out this yoga for kids video below. I borrowed a children's yoga video from our library, and my kids had a fun time learning the poses, which were adapted for children. Now we often have short yoga sessions that promote flexibility, balance, and focus.
7. Brave the rain
If the rain is light, put on your boots and coats, and head out for a rainy day walk. Kids can't resist jumping in puddles, and you can enjoy the fresh rain-scented air. If you return home wetter than you expected, warm up with a healthy snack like popcorn.
8. Play giant tic-tac-toe
Tic-tac-toe is fun, but GIANT tic-tac-toe is even better. With a game this big, they can't help but be active while they play.
See the tutorial here.
9. Air pop party
Air pop popcorn poppers are (thankfully) making a come back, and not only do they create great popcorn - they provide endless entertianment for kids. Put a sheet on your floor, place the air popper on your counter next to the sheet and take off the top part of it. Then, pour the popcorn in. Without the top it will throw the popcorn in the air almost like indoor snow for your kids to chase around. Just a word of warning: don't put the popper on the ground, as any hot kernals leaping out can burn your kid's skin.
10. Make an air bubble tent
This will keep your kids entertained for hours, and it's so easy. Either sew two sheets together or pull a duvet off a comforter. Then place a fun in the sheet. This will create an air pocket tent for your kids to play in. And it's totally awesome.
See the tutorial here.
11. Kid friendly biathalon
When in doubt, look to the olympics. All you need for this game is a cheap spray bottle or water gun and a piece of paper. See the full instructions and our other olympic ideas here.
Don't let bad weather keep you or your children from being active. The next time it's rainy and the kids are restless, try one of these indoor exercise ideas. By the time you're done, you'll feel better inside and out, and your children will be on their way to a lifetime of good exercise habits.