Girl holding acorn and colorful leaf in autumn park. Child picking acorns in a bucket in fall forest with golden oak and maple leaves. Children play outdoors. Kids playing and hiking in the woods. Thinkstock image
Girl holding acorn and colorful leaf in autumn park. Child picking acorns in a bucket in fall forest with golden oak and maple leaves. Children play outdoors. Kids playing and hiking in the woods. Thinkstock image FamVeld | Thinkstock

Try these tips to keep kids happy in winter

WITH the start of winter and the accompanying cold weather, it's easy to start being cooped up indoors as a family.

That can lead to either boredom or an over reliance on screen time, especially for children.

So, what can you do to encourage healthy recreational activities and brave the cold during winter?

Still try to include outdoor time

You may simply have to put on a few extra layers and get outside to explore as a family.

By taking the lead you can make it more of an adventure and make it a positive that your children will eagerly engage in.

The local park can look very different after it has rained, or when there is dew or frost hanging around, so why not take a look around at the plants and gardens?

While you may not swim, it can still be fun to explore the beach and see how wild weather whips up the waves.

Flying a kite is another fun activity to take part in on a windy winter's day - plus a kite is a simple and affordable children's toy that the whole family can enjoy.

Why not be like Peppa Pig and encourage the family to dress up in their raincoats and gumboots to jump in some muddy puddles after it rains?

If it's a little dark outside why not take a torch for some exploration time?

Find some local activities to enjoy

If you can afford it, why not treat your kids to an indoor play centre, ten-pin, trampolining, indoor skate park or a movie?

There are also plenty of cheap or free alternatives often run by your local council or a not-for-profit organisation. Take advantage of it and join the fun.

In Bundaberg there is also the free zoo at Alexandra Park with the Tamarins, native birds, reptiles, dingoes, wallabies and emus.

As your children get older, sign them up to a winter sport. Remember if you're struggling to afford it, that there are government-funded vouchers that you can apply for.

Creative ideas for activities at home

If you're looking for inexpensive activities that you can organise at home, there are a range of options available to you.

Some great ideas include:

Move to music and make up dances. Just ensure you also take part to encourage them!

Play dress-ups. Maybe your child could act out a new adventure based on a favourite superhero or cartoon character.

Set up an indoor treasure hunt.

Why not try a board game? Or a pretend quiz show?

If you have space, use chairs, blankets and boxes to build a fort or set up an obstacle course.

Use an old mattress as an indoor trampoline and get your child to try funny running styles, or practise jumping, landing and tumbling.

Line up some empty plastic bottles inside and use an old pair of socks to play indoor "bowling”. Make it harder by adding some weight (like sand or water) inside the bottles. You can also recycle the socks to play other games like soccer or tennis, or even puppet plays.

Encourage your child to throw a scarf up in the air and catch it on an arm, leg, knee or head. Or let your child kick a balloon up as high as possible and then use a fly swat or plastic bat to hit the balloon.

If you have further questions about this or any other health issue for your child, chat to your GP or visit WBHHS child health team at the Margaret Rose Centre, Bourbong St. You can also phone the WBHHS child health team on:

Bundaberg: 41502700

Childers: 41921133

Gin Gin: 41572222

Gayndah: 41613571

Mundubbera: 41613571

Monto: 41669300

Biggenden: 41276400

Eidsvold: 41657100



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