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Physical and mental activity are both important for the well-being of kids and essential to a healthy lifestyle. In the winter months, it is very easy to fall into the habit of lessening activities and exercise since you are indoors more often.

The American Medical Association recommends that children get 60 minutes of exercise a day. Keeping your kids physically active year-round is important for numerous reasons. It reduces the chances of them being overweight, increases strength in muscles and bones, improves posture, releases stress and it can even help improve concentration in school.

It is also important for your child to exercise their brain. Reading, educational board games and crafts are easy ways to get your kids to use their imagination.

So, what ways can you get your kids up and moving and keep their minds active when the temperature take a dip? See our suggestions below for keeping your kids mentally and physically active in the winter.

Go Bowling or Ice Skating

Bowling is a great way to keep active and it provides some healthy family competition! Go out the bowling alley to enjoy a few games. If you don’t mind cooler temperatures, you can venture to an ice skating rink for a fun winter activity that can actually burn about twice as many calories as walking.

Create a Reading Chart

Put together a reading chart and set goals for your child for how many minutes per day they read. Have little prizes or rewards for your child when they reach or exceed their goals. This will increase their literacy and help foster a love of reading.

Visit the a Community or Fitness Center

Many community centers and gyms have classes specifically for kids. There are even some gyms just for kids! Look into things like indoor swimming, dance, gymnastics or martial arts. There are places that have winter sports teams for kids, such as soccer, volleyball or basketball. Some centers even have art classes or offer chess lessons. You may even find classes that your whole family can participate in!

Have a Crafting Day

Plan a day or afternoon of crafts with your child. Crafting helps kids to learn to follow directions, use their imagination and learn new skills. Plus, your child will love being creative together with you!

Play Outside

If you don’t mind the cold weather, get out and play outside. Go for a walk, build a snowman, go sled riding, or take the family skiing, snow tubing, or snowboarding. Older kids can even help you shovel snow outside. Just be sure to bundle up!

Plan a Family Game Night

Create some friendly family competition with a game night! Games a fun way for kids to exercise their minds. Board games can teach important social skills, such as communicating verbally, sharing, taking turns and enjoying interaction with others. 

Go to the Mall

Walking around a mall can provide a moderate amount of exercise and you can get some shopping done too! If possible, take the stairs instead of escalators or elevators.

Whatever you do to get your kids moving this winter, be sure that you’re staying active as well, so that you can set a healthy example. Have fun!

 

Written by Lauren Morelli
Director, Marketing and Communications

Have comments or suggestions? Feel free to email me at lmorelli@bsaece.com


Winter weather is here! Now you need to figure out the best way to keep your baby safe and warm. It can be tricky sometimes figuring out the best combination of warmth, comfort and safety for your baby, but thankfully, we are here to help!

Remember that babies aren’t able to keep their bodies warm like older kids and adults. This also means that they are also not able to cool down as quickly too. Dressing your baby in layers is the best way to maintain the right balance especially when going from the outside to a warm building. 

Keeping Your Baby Warm While at Home

The recommended guideline is to dress your baby in one more layer than you have on to keep them warm enough. For example, if you have on long sleeves, your baby may need an additional top, sweater or blanket to be warm.

When your baby is in their crib, experts strongly recommend that you do not use any blankets until your child is more than 12 months old. It’s best to use fleece footed sleepers or a sleep sac to keep babies warm.

Keeping Your Baby Warm When Going Outside

When it is cold out, you should really limit your baby’s time outdoors. Remember to always keep your baby’s head covered when venturing outside on cold days. Make sure the hat covers their ears as well. You should also have your baby wear mittens and thick socks, shoes or booties.

If you are carrying your baby in a sling or body pack, your body heat will keep them warm, and they won’t need as many extra layers. They will still need to wear a hat.

Making Sure Your Baby is Warm and Safe in the Car

You want your baby to be warm enough in the car, but you also have to remember car seat safety guidelines when dressing your baby. Car seat straps will not fit safely with coats, snowsuits or bunting underneath. Add the extra layers of warmth after you take your baby out of the car seat.

After you strap your baby into their car seat, you can tuck a blanket around your baby if needed.

Car seat covers are great to use when traveling between to and from your car. They also make covers for strollers when you are on the go.

Be sure to regularly check on your baby to make sure they are at a comfortable temperature. To make sure that they are comfortable, you can check their fingers, toes and ears, which should be slightly cool. If your baby’s fingers look white, that can be a sign of frostnip, and you need to warm them up right away. If your baby is red, flushed, or is sweating, they are too warm and you should remove some layers and let them cool down.

Keeping your diaper bag and car stocked with extra gear for temperature changes and regularly checking on your baby will keep them safe and warm this winter.  

 

By Lauren Morelli
Director, Marketing and Communications