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Winter Gym Games for Kids the Homeschooling Way

by Jessica Parnell | Mar 01, 2016 | 3 min read

Winter. A time of year when most of us in colder climates want to hunker down under nice cozy blankets, bake indoors, and read, read, read! But, while spending time indoors is great, many of our students, especially our littlest ones, need to move in order to learn best. And of course the physical education requirement is still in place even during the colder months.

During the winter we have to be more intentional about finding physical activities for homeschooled children. Winter gym games for kids don’t have to be a challenge, and teaching PE to homeschoolers in the winter can be one of the most fun and rewarding subjects you’ll tackle. If you’re struggling to stay active during the winter and log your PE hours, don’t worry! We’ve got the best physical activities for homeschooled children and their parents that will get your heart rate high even when the temperature stays low!

The Best Winter Gym Games for Kids

  • YMCA-Staying active in the winter might be as simple as driving to your local YMCA! Often local YMCA branches host indoor winter gym classes or free play for homeschooled students at a low cost. Want something more structured? You can enroll your students in a variety of classes from gymnastics to basketball to tennis. The Y also has great weight rooms and tons of exercise machines to use. Sign your family up for a spring 5K and start training on the treadmills! With indoor pools, free or low cost classes, and sport courts, your students are sure to find physical activities that suit their interests and keep them moving.
  • Indoor Sports- If you’ve got a sport lover in your house finding an indoor sporting facility could be your ticket to logging those gym hours during colder months. Check your phone book or the internet for local indoor tennis or soccer arenas and enroll your student in classes. Bowling alleys and roller rinks often have local free skate times that are discounted and less crowded during the day while non-homeschoolers are at school, a win-win all around!
  • Winter Sports– If you can’t beat winter, why not join it by participating in a winter sport? Teaching PE to homeschoolers during the winter could be as easy as purchasing a season pass to a ski slope and learning to ski or snowboard as a family. Not into downhill sports? Try ice-skating! Not only will your family have a blast, your students will learn balance and develop core strength.
  • Home-Style PE– If you’re like me you have at least 1 student who isn’t as coordinated as their peers and doesn’t enjoy sports. Or perhaps the YMCA or ski pass isn’t in your budget this year. This is where you have to get creative with your winter gym games for kids. Why not try yoga or Pilates? Purchase a video, rent one from the library or watch online yoga classes to practice yoga poses. Not only will you all become stronger, yoga is proven to improve relaxation and reduce stress! If you want something more upbeat, put together a series of cardio, dancing, or kick-boxing routines that you complete in a rotation 2-3 times a week. The key is to find exercises that fit your family dynamic and interests.
  • Obstacle Courses– One of the most fun ways to exercise and get moving during the winter is to create an indoor obstacle course. Grab different items that will make up your stations and get creative as you design the course as a family. Think jump rope, balls, tunnels, hula-hoop, etc. and create a fun and engaging obstacle course that will have you winded in no time! If you don’t have a ton of sports gear don’t worry! Chairs make great tunnels, yard sticks are effective balance beams, and the stairs are a great way to burn calories. If you like competition, time one another to see who can complete the course fastest or have your students try to beat their own time. Make it as easy or challenging as your students can handle and have fun!

Homeschooling has amazing benefits, individualized learning, flexibility, and more family time, just to name a precious few. However, teaching PE to homeschoolers in the winter can seem daunting. Use our fun and engaging winter gym games for kids to keep your students off the couch and active all winter long!

How do you keep your homeschoolers engaged and active when it’s cold outside?

Jessica Parnell
Hello everyone! I’m Jessica Parnell — mom, homeschool evaluator, teacher, and CEO of Bridgeway Academy. In my 20+ years of experience as a homeschool mom and evaluator, I have had the privilege of meeting homeschoolers that take a variety of approaches to their education. It is their many stories and successes that inspire me in my own homeschooling and I love to pass on the knowledge that I have gained from them to other homeschooling families. The one constant that always remains true is that there’s no such thing as a “cookie cutter child.” Each child is fearfully and wonderfully made and as a result, learns and functions differently. It’s our job to ensure that we’re raising each child to fulfill their individual purpose and when we can teach in a way that inspires them, we are on our way to homeschool success. When I’m not writing or teaching my children, I like to ski, write and participate in triathlons. I graduated from Kutztown University with a Bachelor of Science in Education and a Masters in English and I am currently pursuing a degree in Neuroleadership.
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