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Winter Indoor Sports for Kids

Everyone in the family can benefit from more activity during winter, but family ventures outside are more logistically intensive than in summer, so indoor sports for kids are easier.

Wintertime usually means that kids and adults spend more time indoors. But there are many activities that kids can get involved in during the wintertime that keeps them moving, building healthy routines, burning off energy and creating lifelong habits that support a healthy lifestyle. Becoming sedentary during the winter months is not beneficial for anyone. It can lead to weight gain, loss of muscle tone and depression. 

Everyone in the family can benefit from more activity during winter, but family ventures outside are more logistically intensive than in summer, so indoor activities are easier for parents. The good news is that there are many activities for kids to engage in during the winter, and still stay indoors, and here are some choices to consider. Remember to consult your pediatrician or stop in at your local urgent care center for a sports physical suited to the activity, especially for the more arduous sports.

Swimming

Indoor swimming is a low-impact activity that exercises the whole body. Learning to swim is a skill that will last a lifetime for your child, and they can start learning as early as age one. You can find kids swimwear from newborn through adulthood. Water skills also can keep them safer when they come into contact with water sources that they encounter in daily life. Swimming teaches discipline, muscle control and water safety. It’s a perfect family choice too, as an activity that both parents and grandparents can engage in with children. This strengthens family bonds and will provide a well-rounded exercise program for everyone. 

During the wintertime, there are indoor pools where kids and adults can enjoy swimming and even take swimming lessons to improve their skills. If young people enjoy swimming, they can also start participating in competitive swimming events such as meets. 

Tennis

While in many areas of the country, people are able to play tennis throughout the winter months, there are some areas where that is not possible. The best alternative is an indoor tennis location. Tennis teaches coordination and planning, so it is a good non-contact sport for children and adults to learn. 

Indoor tennis gives players the option to play with one another, but there is also the chance to build skills as an individual athlete. Hitting against a wall still allows coordination and skills to develop even when there isn’t another player available. For students who want to further build their skills, there are instructors that can help with form, stance and game strategy. 

Archery

Archery ranges usually offer lessons and provide equipment for beginners, and the sport can be practiced by any generation. Kids can begin to learn from about 8 years old generally. As a shooting sport, archery teaches discipline and social protocols, while providing a cut and dried method of measuring how your skill improves over time. It’s easy and affordable to start with a toy bow and arrow and progress to more serious equipment if the sport takes hold with the child. Archery offers social interaction and builds self confidence, and as one of the world’s oldest sports, it’s filled with history to learn about.

Basketball

Basketball is a great team sport for kids to get involved in. While pickup games can happen anywhere, organized games during the winter are done indoors. This gives kids a chance to run, burn off energy and build team development skills. Also, the act of playing, including dribbling, throwing and passing the ball builds muscles, motor skills, and hand-to-eye coordination. 

Gymnastics

Gymnastics combines both individual and team sports. Kids can take individual lessons and when they progress, they can opt to compete with others. Taking lessons builds hand-to-eye coordination and learning to work as a team. During the training process, there is also a level of trust building as an instructor may help a child through a somersault or on a piece of equipment. 

Ice/Roller Skating

Skating teaches graceful muscle use under physical and competitive pressure. Tricky at first, it offers exhilarating pleasure as skill improves. Kids can start on skates as young as three years old.  Ice skating rinks are often indoors, and roller skating is as much fun for those who are cold-averse. Dancing on skates is a socially engaging activity, and some funky music can involve all the family in old and new memories.

Wrestling

This sport may not be for everyone but for those who do love it, it can become a passion. This is a sport that is done indoors so it’s good for any time of the year. It’s a challenging sport that provides a sound foundation of physicality, and many coaches take the time to impart life lessons as part of the process. Kids can start learning this sport from around 4-5 years of age, and it can be a lot of fun for them.

As the sport progresses, it teaches lessons about winning and losing – it’s totally a competitive sport. Failure happens at times which can be difficult for a child, but learning to push through that, learn from mistakes, and train to do better the next time is invaluable.

Engaging with Others

The other positives for continuing physical activities during the wintertime is that many of them can be done with friends and family members. As they reach new achievements, every young person will feel more confident and able to learn new things. Grandparents and parents can engage in relevant ways too.

When the activity is more of a solo event, parents are there cheering everyone on which also contributes to a sense of well-being for the student. New things can be scary but with encouragement, every young person can become more comfortable and confident as they pursue new goals. Don’t let the winter doldrums keep everyone in the house. Get out there and keep moving!

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