For Aussie kids reared on a healthy diet of sport and outdoor play, winter can be a serious dampener to lively spirits. But before you reach for another DVD or video game, take a look at the activities list below; the great indoors awaits us all.
Just keep swimming
You don’t have to be Ian Thorpe to enjoy the water all year round! Local swimming pools usually run plenty of family-friendly sessions, and just moving about in the water and having fun will have its benefit. Plus, swimming is not only a great way to keep fit, it’s a really important life skill for the kids to have.
Ten pin bowling is great fun for young, older and big kids alike! Why not get together with another family and form teams? Otherwise, improvise with indoor bowling: after clearing the hallway, use a ball and empty plastic bottles. Strike!
Dance like no one's watching
Playing music is an easy way to get children dancing and having fun; sure to raise moods as well heart rates! For extra fun, try dressing up and impersonating your favourite star. The winner gets a prize of course!
Cast your mind back to your own childhood and you may recall the magic of make-believe. All it takes is an idea and you can journey anywhere. From prehistoric times to space and on again to the Great Sandy Desert. Make a plan with your kids to "travel" somewhere exoctic soon!
Let the (board) games begin!
Board and cards games can teach children many valuable skills including fair play, patience and perserverance. The group will usually enforce the rules but as a parent, you may want to establish boundaries (no stealing Monopoly money from your neighbour is a good start!).
Kids can cook
Children of all ages can learn a lot from cooking, especially the act of sharing chores (and the consequences of mess; someone has to clean up!). Help them to feel excited about cooking by encouraging them to choose a special friend or family member for whom to bake. Make a special offering, for example muffins, a chocolate cake, even a three-course dinner!
Easy indoor art:
Help nurture children's artistic abilities by promoting the importance of art at home. Choose a special friend for whom to create the art work, or ask the children to make a special piece for exhibition in the family home. Cover the floor with newspaper and use water colours so everyone can get stuck in without fear of messing up!