Harsh winters can be the death of a healthy lifestyle. Once the snow’s on the ground the fireplace is on, the hot chocolate comes out and everyone settles in for a nice lethargic winter. By the time the snow clears the kids can’t remember how to tie their shoes, let alone work up a sweat. Even when the temperatures drop, kids need activities to keep their little bodies moving and their blood pumping. Building snow forts and bringing Frosty to life are fun, but 3 feet of snow and /or frigid temperatures might deter them from too many jaunts into the backyard. Even particularly harsh winters (Canada – I’m looking at you!) can send the most avid skiers and snowboarders running for the duvet. Instead of risking frostbite, why not choose an activity that allows your children to have the best of both worlds… making snow angels when it’s tolerable and taekwondo patterns at night? They’ll stay warm, fit and have fun– winter never looked so good.

Taekwondo
Patterns and sparring aside, this sport is hours of sweaty, intense fun for little ones. It ensures discipline, skill and confidence and kids have fun while they’re doing it. Although taekwondo schools are generally more expensive than other activities, the level of instruction is much higher than other sports and you can bet on an experience that’s worth your cash. Children learn that the harder they work, the more they are rewarded- earning a new belt isn’t easy but when they achieve it, all of the effort is worth it. Many taekwondo schools even offer before and after school care so kids can have some activity every day, instead of sitting on their rumps at daycare; it’s a great way to wind down the day. Parents of preschoolers don’t despair; most schools have programs for kids as young as three years old.

Indoor Soccer
Soccer is one of the most popular kids’ sports right now – who says the fun has to stop when the snow hits the ground! Children who enjoy this high energy sport can participate all year-round. Many community soccer clubs offer the opportunity to bring the cleats indoors during the winter months, with just as much excitement and a little less mosquito action! Teaching kids coordination and teamwork, soccer is a great option for those who are on a budget as well – generally this sport is not nearly as expensive as others, yet offers the same health benefits and age-appropriate skill levels as other activities.

Swimming
Not for landlubbers, swimming is a great, low-impact activity that keeps children moving all winter long. Year-round swimming lessons are not only cheap, but are offered at the majority of community leisure centres, along with competitive swimming options for those children who excel at this sport. Swimming in general is an individual activity and offers a challenge to kids to pass each level during the allotted time period (usually about 6 weeks). Kids have fun splashing around, while also learning invaluable water safety lessons and confidence in the water. Offered for kids as young as six months old (parented), these courses are sure to keep your little mermaid (or merman) happy.

Climbing
Rock climbing is not your average kids’ activity; it requires focus, determination and the ability to support your lower body with what seems like brute strength. This sport is not for the faint of heart and is best suited to those kids who like being challenged. Indoor climbing facilities offer stat-of-the-art rock walls, safety gear and instruction. Starting as young as five years old, little ones can learn the basics of scaling rock walls and focusing on a goal. This is an intense activity that offers stellar health benefits and a lot of old fashioned fun. As a higher priced activity, these 10-week courses are worth the price, but make sure your nearest facility has at least a partial refund policy just in case little Aidan or Emma decides scaling pretend mountains isn’t “da bomb”.

Hockey
Hockey is one of the most traditional winter sports, and one of the most popular. Once an activity only for boys, little girls are now excelling on mixed (and female) teams as well. This sport is an obvious choice and teaches teamwork, coordination and true grit. It is however one of the most expensive sports to take part in (due to equipment, tournaments and community fees) and requires a huge time commitment as well. If your little one can handle 2-3 practices a week at higher levels, and is adept at skating, then this is the sport to choose. It is a high-energy, fun filled game which many kids enjoy, and which can open many doors for truly skilled players.

So no matter which winter activity you and your children choose, it’s likely that your tots will greet the spring with renewed confidence, skill and a healthy outlook on what could have been the long, cold, grey days of winter.

Author's Bio: 

Lilly Gordon is a freelance writer and web publisher. She is a Mom of two and is currently researching children’s’ activities and before and after school care for kids.