How to Wear Your Kids Out in Bad Weather
Do you ever wonder how to wear your kids out in bad weather?
Folks, it’s cold out there today. It’s so cold that it hurts to be outside. Typically, we subscribe to the saying “There’s no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing.” We are usually outside in all weather, but…
- We aren’t quite used to this level of cold just yet.
- We have guys working on our house so it isn’t safe to play in our yard.
Due to the aforementioned items, plus the fact that my Monday to-do list is long, today has been a [mostly] indoor day for us. Thing is, we are an active family and we don’t like to be cooped up without any physical activity. My little poppies need to move. So, how do we wear our kids out when the weather is uncooperative? I will share our top four strategies with you, and the keyword is: MUSIC.
#1. Dance* :
Almost every afternoon, my little poppies and I dance in the kitchen. It has become a much-loved tradition and while I adore it, the truth is, it was borne out of desperation. You see, there used to be a lot of drama in our house come 4 o’clock, the dreaded witching hour. In order to maintain my sanity and circumvent the relentless whining, I would pop in a Kenny Chesney CD, turn up the volume, and dance it out. No joke, in my house this is called Kenny Hour. To this day I can say, “Ding! Ding! Ding! Iiiiiiiiiit’s Kenny Hour!!!” and my little poppies will come running into the kitchen for an impromtu dance party. In my experience, a bad mood is no match for spontaneous kitchen dancing. Over the years, these dance parties have evolved from a last-ditch survival strategy to a fun afternoon tradition. I’ve never been able to document an actual Kenny Hour, because I’m busy rocking out with my little poppies during those, but I did manage to unearth two kitchen dancing gems- and one involves ZBB (and, clearly, tutus make dancing more fun!!):
Folks, I’m going to share a secret with you and you may not – under any circumstances– share this with my children but… I will often pull up YouTube on our television and search for Just Dance videos. My kids think they are playing the video game! All the fun and all the exercise without actually owning the game!
#2. Crossfit Mini-WODs:
Wait. Don’t leave me yet- hear me out. I’ve told you guys that I’ve been obsessed with Crossfit for three years now. I bring my children with me to Crossfit where they observe strong moms working out together and having a ton of fun in the process.
As a result, my little poppies love all things Crossfit, especially these two fun for kids Crossfit mini-WODs (WOD is Crossfit-speak for workout of the day). The only thing you need for these two items is access to the internet so that you can play the songs. My kids love these two activities and I bet yours will, too! And, trust me, they will be tired afterward!
Thunderstruck by AC/DC :
The goal here is to do jumping jacks throughout the song, except for when you hear the word “Thunder” at which point you drop to the floor and do a burpee. Leo and T will demonstrate for you here (please excuse Leo’s droopy drawers!):
Flower by Moby:
Now that you’ve worn them out with jumping jacks and burpees, let’s add in some squats! Kids are awesome at squatting, by the way- their form is better than that of most adults. For this song, whenever you hear the words “bring Sally down…” you go down into a squat and hold it until you hear the words “bring Sally up” and you continue throughout the song. Leo and T will demonstrate it for you here:
#3. Mini Trampoline:
We were advised to purchase a small trampoline as part of Leo’s occupational therapy. Whenever he has an abundance of energy, and he often does, we ask him to bounce on it for several minutes, often to music. I frequently use the trampoline as a focusing strategy. If Leo needs to sit still for any length of time, whether for piano lessons, a long car ride, or a doctor’s appointment, I have him bounce it out first. (Side note: While we’re talking about trampolines, movement can be beneficial when learning. If your child is having trouble remembering spelling words or math facts, you might want to try teaching them while bouncing. Nope, I’m not joking.)
#4. Indoor Hopscotch (DIY)
After all the aforementioned activity, you may now need to calm those kiddos down! On the days I don’t make it to Crossfit, I use yoga to find my zen place. I have a plethora of yoga DVDs and my little poppies will often grab a towel in lieu of a mat and follow along beside me. However, if I’ve already squeezed in a workout, I throw in one of the yoga DVDs for children that we’ve acquired over the years. We like Kids World Yoga, Shanti Generation: Yoga Skills for Youth Peacemakers (ages 7-16), and Yoga Kids. Another cool yoga idea that has been on my wish list for ages is called Yoga Pretzels (Yoga Cards)– it gets great reviews on Amazon.
I hope that the weather is fitness-friendly where ever you are reading this, but if not, I hope that some of our tips inspire you to get those kiddos moving. Healthy kids are happy kids, and active kids are tired kids, and tired kids make for happy parents at the end of the day!
Leave all the afternoon for exercise and recreation, which are as necessary as reading. I will rather say more necessary because health is worth more than learning.
Parents, are you looking for more activities to keep your kids busy and happy? Well, look no further because I have an embarrassing number of pins on the subject:
Cait co-hosts The Homeschool Sisters Podcast and is co-founder of Raising Poppies, a community for parents of gifted and twice-exceptional children. Cait is also founder of the Family Book Club at My Little Poppies, a fantastic community of book-loving parents and the Gameschool Community at My Little Poppies, a vibrant community of gameschoolers.
Cait is a contributing writer for Simple Homeschool. Her work has also appeared on The Huffington Post, The Mighty, Scary Mommy, GeekMom, and many others. You can find her on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram
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