Healthy Kids YMCA Child Care

4 energy burning activities for active kids to do at home this winter

Two female children laughing while lying in a pile of snow

After a few blasts of wintry weather, you’re likely looking for fun ideas to keep your high-energy kids moving during weekends and snow days.

The YMCA Play ON program has chosen four activities that use household items, incorporate the five physical literacies (hopping, walking backwards toe to heel, running back and forth, throwing, and kicking) and are lots of fun for one or more children of any age.

1. Hopscotch

What you need: masking tape, paper, any floor
Best suited to: anywhere with floor space

Just because there’s snow outside doesn’t mean you can’t have summer fun inside! Use tape to create an indoor hopscotch. Crumple up the paper into a ball and have your child throw it toward the squares. They must make sure to hop over whatever square the ball landed on!

Keep the fun going: Move the lines of tape to change the arrangement of hopscotch boxes, or to change the shape of the box to something different like a triangle.

2. Mission Impossible

What you need: streamers, tape
Best suited to: long hallways

Have streamers left over from a party? Grab some tape and string the streamers across a hallway at different angles. Challenge your child by having them figure out how to crawl or jump through the obstacle.

Keep the fun going: Change the placement of the streamers to increase the difficulty, time your child for their personal best, or have them walk backwards toe-to-heel to reach the start.

3. Snow Treasure Hunt

What you need: water-safe toys
Best suited to: anywhere with a bit of snow

If a fresh snowfall has you stuck at home, it’s a great opportunity for a treasure hunt. Head out to your yard or a nearby park and hide small toys or items from around the house in the snow, then challenge your child to find them all. Keep time for them to see how long it takes. Can they run in the snow and find them even faster next time?

Keep the fun going: Make it a memory game; hide all but one of the items from the first hunt. Can they guess which one is missing?

4. Paper “snowball” throw

What you need: masking tape, paper, containers (like buckets, cooking pots, or gift bags)
Best suited to: any large room

Too cold to play outside? Arrange a few buckets or other containers on the floor. In front of them, tape three lines — each at a different distance away. Scrunch up a few sheets of paper into “snowballs” and challenge your child to try throwing them into the buckets from each tape line. See how many they is able to get in from each distance. Encourage them to keep trying until they get all of them in.

Keep the fun going: Try tossing shower curtain rings, candy canes, or buttons. Ask them to notice if throwing something heavier or lighter makes it more difficult. What else can they try throwing in? Tip the buckets on their side, can they kick the snowballs into the buckets?

The YMCA Play ON program is a free afterschool program for students in grades 1-8. Funded by the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport and delivered in partnership with school boards across the GTA, this program focuses on physical activity, healthy eating and nutrition, wellness and personal health education.