Yes, that time of the year is almost upon us…winter weather season. While we may be dreading the snowy commutes to work and tuning up the snow blowers, there’s no reason to stay stuck inside every day when the snow flies. Beat cabin fever with these 10 gross motor activities and games that the whole family will enjoy:
1. Make snow angels: Lie back in the snow and move your legs apart and together as you swing your arms out in an arc along the ground until your hands are overhead. If your child struggles with this practice just the legs or just the arms until he/she can put it all together.
2. Shovel: Shoveling is great for heavy work for the sensory systems. Work together to shovel the sidewalk or patio, or shovel a path or maze through the yard.
3. Snowball Target Practice: Practice making snowballs of different sizes. Set up targets at different distances and practice throwing overhand and underhand to hit the target. Let your child make up rules for scoring.
4. Make a snowman: Making a snowman or even just practicing rolling some large snowballs is great for heavy work. Let your child be creative in designing the snowman or snowwoman’s “outfit”.
5. Take a hike: With warm snow boots, walking through a snowy woods is a beautiful way to get some cardiovascular exercise. Consider trying snowshoeing for an outdoors family adventure!
6. Sledding: On a safe slope, sledding is a fun activity that also throws in some exercise pulling the sled back up the hill.
7. Pulling a sled: Take turns pulling a friend around on a sled for more heavy work. You can even put a favorite weather friendly toy on a sled for a ride.
8. Build a snow fort: Building a snow fort takes planning and some heavy work to put it all together. And it provides a fun space to visit the next day for more outdoors time. Bring a favorite action figure out, stage a snowball fight or plan a pretend snow tea party outside.
9. Make a step-stone path or hopscotch path: Using footprints or packed down snow shapes, make a path to navigate while walking, jumping or hopping onto those spots.
10. Play T-ball or baseball: First make a bunch of baseball or softball sized snowballs. Then get out a plastic bat, a firm noodle or even a plastic “light-saber” and try to hit and smash the snowballs. Take turns being the pitcher and the batter.
Be creative…just be sure to get outside for some fresh air, exercise and great family time together this winter!