Cold-weather games for kids
Winter is the season we prefer to spend wrapped up in thick woollen blankets, or huddled around the fireplace as its embers glow ruby red, letting off a homely heat that can make our levels of laziness reach an all-time high.

But before we get stuck in this sluggish and lethargic state of mind, it is important that we break this rainy weather attitude and keep our bodies fit and fighting.

Unlike adults, children don’t share our ‘slothful sentiments’.  Just because the weather has reached near-freezing conditions and the rain is whipping down outside is no reason for an active kid to want to stay warm and comfortable.

Here are some great ideas for both indoor and outdoor activities that will get you and the kids out and about, and keep everyone happy during the chilliest months of the year.

Play Simon Says

This game is a real winner because it can be played indoors. This is how it works:

  • One player assumes the role of Simon and issues instructions to the rest of the players.
  • Simon must start off by saying ‘Simon says’, followed by an action that he or she wants everyone else to perform. For example, ‘Simon says stand on your head!’ or ‘Simon says say the alphabet!’
  • Players are eliminated if they follow Simon’s instructions incorrectly, or if they don’t follow a command that includes the phrase ‘Simon says’.
  • Simon must keep issuing instructions until there is only one player left.
  • The last person standing becomes the new Simon.
Top tip: Incorporate some exercise activities into your instructions if you have assumed the role of Simon. This way you and your family can exercise and have fun at the same time.

Play Torch Tag

Torch tag is a fun game the whole family can get involved in. It’s just like regular tag, except instead of physically having to touch someone to tag them, you need to shine the torch beam on them. Here is how it works. The player who is ‘It’ has the torch, and he or she closes eyes and counts to a high number while the other players spread out and hide. ‘It’ has to try to ‘tag’ or catch one of the other players by shining the torch beam on them, at the same time calling out their name. The ‘tagged’ person then becomes ‘It’ and takes the torch. This game is not only a fun affair for family members of all ages, but it also has an element of exercise that will keep you fit and energised during winter.

Top tip: This game is a lot more fun when played at night! That way it incorporates elements from both tag and hide-and-seek.

Play Sardines

Another fun game to play inside or out. The person who is nominated ‘It’ goes and finds a hiding place while the others close their eyes and count up to 30. All the other players spread out to search for ‘It’, and once they’ve found him or her, they squash (like sardines!) into It’s hiding place. The last person to find the hiding place becomes the new ‘It’.

Indoor Glow-In-The-Dark Bowling

This game is heaps of fun, and is one that the whole family can play – from the making of the bowling skittles to the bowling itself. You’ll need six glowsticks, a small ball, 6 empty water or cool drink bottles, and pen and paper to keep the score. Glowsticks are available from party and novelty shops.

Start off by filling the bottles with water up to where the bottles’ necks begin. Before you put the lids on the bottles, crack the glowsticks to activate them and drop them into the bottles. Set your pins up at the end of a long dark passageway and let the glow-in-the-dark family bowling extravaganza begin!

Make Puzzles

Puzzles can an awesome family activity that – depending on how good you and your family are at doing them, and how many pieces the puzzle has –  can end up spanning a few days instead of a mere afternoon. Puzzles are also great because, although doing them might not exercise your body, they give your mind a good workout. Doing puzzles with your family will also help your children understand shapes and patterns, and improve their memories.

We hope that these winter tips will help you and your family members keep fit and active during these next few months, and that they offer you a fun reprise from the dreary weather.