Has cabin fever started to set in at your house yet? Here are some great tips for keeping your young children active when it is too cold to go outside for more than a few minutes of fresh air. At Day Nursery, children go outside every day per Indiana state licensing requirements, unless the temperature is below 25 degrees or the severity of the weather poses a safety hazard. For most children, a quick trip outside isn’t enough activity to satisfy their need to move. Here are a few suggestions that we use in the Day Nursery centers that you can try at home. If you like what you read here, you can get a regular helping of great ideas for parents when you sign up for the Parent Central monthly newsletter written by the experts at the National Association of Child Care Resources and Referral agencies (NACCRRA).
Kicking and Moving: Put your baby on the floor on her back, and hold a soft object (like a stuffed animal) that she can kick. Act excited when she does. Give your baby a rattle or other noisemaker that he can shake. Babies love it when they can make things happen.
Patty-Cake: Your baby might not yet know the words. But, clapping hands and playing patty-cake gives him a chance to get moving.
Moving Like Animals: Call out names of zoo and farm animals. Once you have said the name, your toddler (and you!) should move the way the animal does, and make noises like the animal. It will be fun and help your young one use some energy.
Dancing: Everyone can dance. Play your toddler’s favorite music or yours – anything with a good beat – and dance together. Don’t be afraid to get into the music – the more you move around, the better
Cleaning the House: Preschoolers love to help with chores. Take advantage before this interest before it quickly disappears. Chores such as setting the table, light dusting, picking up toys or sweeping are great ways to keep your child active. Put on some music to make the work more fun.
Stretching Out: Work on your flexibility (touching your toes, doing arm circles, jumping jacks) and help your child learn how to exercise healthfully by stretching together.