by Robin M Nuse, RDN, LDN

It seems like everywhere we turn snow keeps piling up and lingering for an unwelcome amount of time causing your kids (and you!) to be stuck inside as well! When it is too cold to go outside, the weather is bad and the kids simply have more energy than they know what to do with, try some of these fun indoor activities to keep them moving. Taking part in these activities can also help you stick with your healthy lifestyle goals!

Painter’s Tape Maze from Rachel Swartley
Work your kids’ minds and bodies with this activity! Create a maze using painter’s tape or masking tape on the biggest open space you have in your house. Challenge you children to find their way through the maze in a variety of ways, guiding a balloon, kicking a ball or simply walking through it. Pull it up and make a new one to keep the activity fresh.

Build a Fort!
While this may not sound like an activity that will break a good sweat like an intense Zumba class, it requires using your muscles to lift and move heavier objects easily elevating your heart rate.

Balloon Paddle Ball from Pen n’ Paperflowers
Have some extra party balloons, paper plates and craft sticks? Then you have yourself a balloon paddle ball kit! Simply attach the craft sticks to sturdy paper plates using hot glue or duct tape to form your paddles and blowup a balloon to use as your ball. Create a net out of boxes or chairs or if you want to be more competitive or simply wander around the house to be more mobile!

Crepe Paper Laser Maze from Brassy Apple

Ready to get tangled up? This is an activity for the agile young kid who needs likes to move! Tape strips of crepe paper to your walls at all different height and angles to make a maze that looks like a laser grid from a spy movie. Have the kids find their way through it without touching the paper. Use time limits, other obstacles or modes of movement to make it more challenging!

Freeze Dance
This is one of my all-time favorites! Play upbeat music and have everybody dance with one person in charge of the pause button. When the music starts everyone starts dancing and stays dancing until the music stops when everyone must FREEZE! If you move while the music is off, you’re out! Last person in wins! Try using different dance moves, holding objects like scarves or hitting balloons at the same time to make things more challenging!

Color Walk from Parenting.com
Gather sheets of colored paper or construction paper and lay them out in equal distances throughout your house without having the same color next to each other. Then use this as a maze to walk around the house while only stepping one color of paper. It’s a lot like real life Candy Land! Use different modes of movement (crab walk, hopping, galloping) or obstacles to make this activity more challenging!

These are just a few activities you do inside to pass time, get moving and burn that “bouncing off the walls” energy that your kids have when cabin fever sets in. You can also include some outdoor activities like tag, hide and seek, musical chairs and hopscotch inside as well. But don’t forget that when it warms up enough to send them right back out! According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, children are recommended to get at least 60 minutes of physical activity most days of the week to promote a healthy lifestyle

And after of all that activity why not warm up with a little hot chocolate? If you have the time, avoid the packet and the unnecessary add-ins and make it yourself using only 4 ingredients! Check out this homemade hot chocolate recipe adapted from The Chic Life. Stay Warm!

Hot Chocolate
Prep Time: 5min Cook Time: 10min Total Time: 15 min Servings: 1

Ingredients:
1 cup of low-fat milk plus 1 tbsp
2 teaspoons of unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon sugar (or sweetener of choice)
¼ teaspoon of vanilla extract
Cinnamon on top? Optional!

Directions:
Place milk in small pot over medium heat.
Combine all dry ingredients in small bowl.
Gradually add dry mixture in to warm milk and whisk continuously. Heat until hot but not boiling.
Stir in vanilla and serve!

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