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5 Fun Activities to Get Kids Outside in Winter

Wintry path

While technology gives kids instant access to information and entertainment, it also keeps them in the house. And research shows that spending more time indoors is harming our children in a variety of ways, contributing to childhood obesity, attention problems, anxiety, and depression.

Benefits to Playing Outside

  • Exercise combats obesity, relieves stress, and promotes fitness.
  • Sunlight increases vitamin D production in the skin. Vitamin D is important for the immune system and bone health.
  • Improved sleep, as light exposure during the day helps the body fall asleep more easily at night.
  • Improved attentiveness and reduced symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
  • Promotes sharper distance vision and less nearsightedness

Given the many health benefits for both children and adults, how can we get our kids outside playing more, especially during cooler times of the year? Here are some suggestions to get you started.

Wintertime Activities for Kids

  • Explore a local park or trail. Hiking is great exercise for the whole family, you can hike year-round, and it’s free! Look for wildlife and when you get home, have the kids draw some of the things they saw.
  • Go on a scavenger hunt. Create a list of items (pinecones, rocks, seeds), give everyone a basket, and head out.
  • Try geocaching, a modern day treasure hunt that is fun for kids and adults.
  • When Mother Nature treats us to a snowfall, remember sled riding, snowball fights, snow forts, snow men, snow angels, snow painting, and catching snowflakes on your tongue. Dress for outdoor exercise. Try your hand at making snow ice cream or maple syrup candy if you want to continue the snow fun indoors.
  • Explore wildlife, such as bird or track identification. Learn more with a trip to the library.
author name

Jennifer S. Ammons, MD

Jennifer S. Ammons, MD, FAAP, is a pediatrician with Roseville Pediatrics. Dr. Ammons is a graduate of the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and completed her residency at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC. Her special areas of interest include child safety, infectious diseases, and immunizations.

Call: 717-569-6481

About LG Health Hub

The LG Health Hub features breaking medical news and straightforward advice to help individuals of all ages make healthy choices and reach their wellness goals. The blog puts articles by trusted Lancaster General Health clinical experts, good 'n healthy recipes, videos, patient stories, and health risk assessments at your fingertips.


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