5 Ways to Keep Children Active During the Holiday Season
During the holidays, taking time to exercise often falls to the bottom of the list thanks to work and family obligations. But making time to exercise doesn’t have to be boring or difficult—after all, 30-60 minutes of physical activity a day is enough to keep you in shape.
To help adults and children stay active this holiday season, try these five suggestions!
1. Go for a holiday walk
Walking is a low-impact activity that’s easy on the joints and muscles, making it a great activity for every member of the family. Walking also can be done just about anywhere, including indoors and outside. You can help kids get their recommended 10,000 steps a day during the holidays by taking a walk around your block to look at festive lights and decorations. After a filling holiday meal, you also can try gathering everyone together and taking a walk outside instead of stretching out on the sofa.
2. Turn your holiday chores into a game
The simple act of walking around your house or apartment doing routine chores can be a great form of physical exercise and help you burn calories. You can engage kids in getting your place ready for the holidays by turning routine chores into a friendly game or competition. After you’ve finished, reward everyone for a job well done by letting children choose a fun activity such as riding bikes, playing an outdoor game, visiting your local playground, or sledding (if there’s snow).
3. Get creative and decrease your screen time
Rather than watching TV or playing video games, encourage kids to do something creative. Decorating the tree, making holiday decorations or cards, or even creating a simple homemade gift for friends or neighbors can be an engaging activity for children of all ages.
4. Play in the snow
If you find yourself in a winter wonderland over the holidays, make the best of the weather and have some fun in the snow. Building a snowman and rolling snowballs requires a lot of physical activity that’s free and fun. You’ll get a great upper and lower body workout by teaching kids how to make snow angels.
Sledding is another exciting snow activity that can lead to great exercise. To sled down the hill, you need to walk up it. Just be sure everyone dresses warm and sleds in a safe area.
5. Look for free holiday events in your community
During the holidays, rural communities and cities offer many kid-friendly community events that will keep kids active in a healthy way. Check the local paper or the web for library, museum, or community events. Local parks and public gardens sometimes offer nature walks for the public that could give children a chance to explore their surroundings.
For students who choose to remain on the Milton Hershey School campus during the holiday season for our Year-Round Experiences (YRE) program, MHS plans engaging health and wellness activities to help students have a happy, healthy, and active holiday!