Most people have heard about the extremely cold weather Eastern Europe has been having. Although we haven’t felt any effects of the blizzard here, it is very cold. And as is the case for most people during the winter time, that means more inside time for the kids. It is often harder overseas during the winter because we have smaller living situations that what we would have if we were at home in the U.S. Plus for us this year, our kids aren’t attending any school, so they are home much more than they would be if we were home. But there are lots of ways we have found to burn off some of the kids excess energy they have from being inside so much.
1. Basketball Games and Practice
For our kids, one main outlet for energy is going to Joe’s games and having the opportunity to run around the court and play afterwards. We bring balls and play basketball or soccer, run races and do flips and cartwheels. They usually work up a good sweat (and sometimes me too). Elijah also has the opprtunity to go to practice with Joe at times. Afterwards he usually gets to play one-on-one with Joe or hit baseballs. Sometimes he even joins in during weight workouts to do his own little workouts.
2. Activities Around Town
Depending on what your city has to offer, there are a lot of things you can get the kids involved in to keep them active. These are a few activities we have available to us this year.
- Bowling- The bowling alley provides a fun activity that 3 out of our 4 kids can do.
- Ice Skating- Only Abby and Elijah are able to ice skate right now, but both have enjoyed this activity.
- Play Places- They have a couple of indoor play centers for kids here around town. You drop the kids off and pay in 15 minute increments. I usually use the time to go sit and have a cup of tea and read. They have a jump house, swing, slide, and jungle gym.
- Sledding and Skiing- Now that the weather is cold and snow is ever present on the ground, there is a sledding and skiing hill here that the kids can go to. They can even take ski lessons.
- Parks- There are a few good parks here in the city. Right now with it being usually around 5F for a high, it is a bit too cold to be out at them. But when it warms up a bit again, we will be back to frequent them. Nearby one there is even a place to feed the birds.
- Going for Walks- Again, right now it is cold, but I am thankful for the nice wide sidewalks they have here that makes it very easy to walk side-by-side with the older three kids while Isaiah is in the stroller.
- Basketball Clubs, Gymnastics Classes- Most places we have been in Europe offer basketball teams and gymnastics classes for young kids. It often differs what age the youngest children are though.
3. Making Use of the Decks
We have had some great decks while living overseas. This year we don’t have one, but in the past we have used our deck areas for roller blading, playing soccer and basketball and just for getting some fresh air.
4. Family Fitness Time
At times when I really feel like the kids need a little workout we will do a family fitness session. This is just basically me leading the kids for 10-20 minutes in simple exercises like running in place, jumping jacks, squats, punches, kicks, etc. If you switch the exercise every 30-60 seconds they can stay engaged and the time passes quickly.
5. Playing Wii
Certain Wii games can provide some energy release for kids. We have Wii Sports and Wii Sports Resort that includes things like boxing, sword fighting and bicycling that leave the kids breathless.
6. Dancing with Mommy or Wrestling with Daddy
Turning on the music and dancing around with Mommy or wrestling with Daddy can get the antsy pants out too.
7. Walking Up the Steps of the Apartment Building
We turn getting back into the apartment after we have been out a game by having the kids run up the stairs and race the elevator. Or in our case this year with us being on such a high floor, we use the time to walk stairs and work on our counting.
How have you been helping your kids to burn off energy this winter?