As the cloud cover thickens, the rain starts and temperatures drop, it becomes tempting to stay curled up on the couch in front of the heater with a warm tea or Milo.

We all know children need to engage in some sort of physical activity everyday but don’t expect them to “go play outside” when all we feel like doing is watch TV or sit at the computer.

Children mirror our behaviour so the best way to motivate them during the colder months, is to motivate ourselves!

Regular physical activity not only nourishes growing bodies but it also supports their emotional and mental development, such as:

  • Improving self-esteem
  • Helping maintain a healthy weight
  • Increasing academic ability
  • Improving sleep
  • Building confidence and self-esteem
  • Encouraging social, sharing and team building skills
  • Assisting the development of gross motor and fine motor skills

Sticking to our KISS (Keep It Simple Silly) principles, here are some fun winter activity ideas to keep our children and ourselves healthy, active and happy throughout winter:


A timeless classic that can be played under the carport or on the driveway or deck. All you need is some chalk and a few pebbles to keep them entertained. Just don’t forget to join in for some extra giggles.

Go for a family walk

My childhood memories of winter are filled with long bush walks in National Parks throughout NSW, followed by cooking marshmallows over a fire. So rug up and check out what’s available in your local area.

Step competition

Invest in pedometers for each family member and award a small prize to the person who gets the most steps in a week. This is especially great to engage older kids who can choose to walk to school instead of catching the bus, or walk to their friends instead of asking you to drive them.

Indoor mini golf competition

Pick up some plastic golf clubs from a toy shop and set up a course (away from anything breakable!) using cups for holes and house hold items as obstacles.

Crank it up

This is my personal favourite! Children love to sing and dance and get an absolute kick out of seeing grownups do the same. Put some music on to create very own disco, or try hula hooping or hula dancing. You can even crank the music up and dance while house cleaning. Buy some glow sticks/bracelets, turn the lights off, turn the music up, and dance, dance, dance!

Treasure hunt

I love this idea from Little Family Fun (http://www.littlefamilyfun.com/2010/02/valentines-day-treasure-hunt.html). Replace written clues with pictures for young children who can’t read.

Get out of the house

There are lots of options to explore when cabin fever sets in, such as indoor playgrounds and public swimming pools and ten-pin bowling. Even walking around museums and galleries is a great way to do some light exercise. Community PCYC’s and recreation centres also offer sports programs and activities for all ages, all year round.

It’s show time!

Children love putting on a play or talent show, so give them a theme or opening lines to get them started. Think, “Once upon a time, in the kingdom of Rainy Days, a princess was born with a fluffy tail and blue hair … “. This is where dress-up boxes come in handy, so throw in your old scarves or ties, or cut up shirts, skirts and dresses you no longer wear.

Singing in the rain

If it’s just a drizzle outside or the sun is simply hiding, put on your gumboots and some warm clothes and head outside. Let the kids splash in the puddles while you walk – there’s always a hot shower or bath when you get home.

You can always move your car out of the garage or carport and convert into a play space for the days. Where there’s a will, there’s always a way!



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  • Thanks for sharing wonderful winter activity tips. It is a great time of year to get out and about. It is actually so good to get out in winter as it is good for mental health.


  • Great ideas, we also love cranking up the music in our house!


  • basically these can be summer ideas as well. lol. my eldest child loves hopscotch and playing that elastic jumping game and handball. simple but fun. Also have a fort building competition lol


  • We need to get kids interested in out door play again! Thanks


  • love the idea of a treasure hunt, or the step competition


  • Disco time! Good tip about the glow sticks.


  • Lots of great idea’s here for the children to do in the winter season thanks for sharing.


  • I will have to do some of these activities with my son this winter.


  • Treasure hunts are a brilliant way to get kids working together


  • thank you! shall try some of them


  • scared to go outside when it’s winter and do that kind of activity , if my kids sick it’s more trouble for me


  • Very useful information as it’s really hard to imagine what to do with a very active baby.


  • Thanks for some great ideas. It can be hard to think outside of the square for new ideas when it is so cold and wintery outside.


  • thank you sharing this article good read


  • you have some great ideas for winter


  • These are some great ideas


  • thanks for sharing was a great read


  • Thanks a lot for sharing. I enjoyed reading it. Great ideas


  • Thank you for sharing this


  • Some great ideas! We love rugging up and jumping in muddy puddles.


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