Despite freezing temperatures and snowy weather conditions, winter can be a fun time for kids. Popular sports, like ice skating and skiing, are enjoyable and effective forms of exercise. In addition, winter activities, like sledding and snowball fights, are enjoyable ways to pass a cold afternoon. Although your family may want to stay inside during the winter months, encourage them to try a new sport or activity, and don't be afraid to try it yourself.
Whether gliding on a rink or on a frozen pond, ice skating is a sport many children enjoy. The sport of skating became fashionable in the 1700s, and boomed in popularity in the 1920s. Nowadays, ice-skating rinks---both indoor and outdoor---can be found throughout the United States.
If your kids are interested in learning how to skate, sign them up for lessons at your nearest skating rink. To properly tackle this sport, your children will need warm clothing and properly fitting ice skates, which you can purchase from a sports store or rent from a rink. If you plan to skate on a frozen pond or lake, make sure it has been approved by your local police or recreation department, for safety reasons.
If you are interested in a winter activity for the whole family, you might want to consider skiing, a sport that appeals to both kids and adults. Consider whether your family would prefer downhill or cross-country skiing. To find a ski resort close to your home, visit SkiResorts.org, which lists more than 600 resorts in 40 states.
Before you hit the ski slopes, make sure your children have the proper equipment. Along with skis, they will need ski boots, poles, and protective gear like a helmet and goggles. Invest in a couple ski lessons too---especially if you're not a skier yourself---so your kids will learn the basics of this sport. Since a ski trip can get expensive, cut down on cost by skiing on a weekday or in the off-season.
Kids of all ages can enjoy the winter activity of sledding---it's fun, fast and, for the most part, free. Part of the appeal of sledding is how easy it is too: Choose a sled and choose a hill. If you don't have a sled, purchase one from a nearby retailer. Or use items around your home, like the lid of a garbage can, as a makeshift sled. Once you've scouted out a place to sled, either let your kids soar down the hill on their own or climb into the sled with them. To shake things up, arrange sledding races between your kids or with other sledders.