Its official Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow; we will have 6 more weeks of winter! 6 more weeks of the kids getting home from school just before dark, 6 more weeks of not just cold temps, but, wind chill temps too! And let’s be honest, we live in Northwest Ohio, 6 weeks is being generous, sometimes Spring time weather doesn’t grace us with its presence until mid-May! Pair all that with the fact that The Center for Disease Control and Prevention stipulates that children need at least 60 minutes of aerobic activity a day… (Specifically; vigorous-intensity aerobic activity on at least 3 days per week, muscle strengthening activities, such as gymnastics or push-ups, at least 3 days per week, and bone strengthening activities, such as jumping rope or running, at least 3 days per week as part of your child’s 60 or more minutes). (Source; https://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/basics/children/ )…and to further complicate the issue one can’t forget about homework, parents’ work schedule, evening activities, and the lure of the screen. It’s enough to make even the most optimistic parent want to just toss in the towel, call it a winter, and hibernate till spring.
First things first, let’s check those screens into the Mobile Motel where they can recharge and rest up for a few hours. (I would encourage your family to come up with check-in and check-out times that suit your family’s schedule. Having the screens out of site and out of mind will help remove that temptation. Added bonus, you will always know where the screen is & it will be charged. Winning!!).
10 Ways to Keep Kids Active in Toledo This Winter:
- Walk to school! We started walking to school this year and while there was a bit of resistance in the beginning we have all come to enjoy and look forward to our walks in the morning. And recently our school introduced Active4.Me. It is a program that promotes physical activity and walkable communities. Active4.Me uses a barcode system to keep track of students’ active trips to and from school, CO2, calories, miles and how much gas savings for each student, their classroom, grade or for the whole district. It notifies parents that children have arrived safely, students can win prizes, and it is a great way to promote safe active communities. Website: https://www.active4.me/index
- Earn Prizes for being Active!?! Winter Quest by Metroparks Toledo is a great initiative to get everyone outdoors and active. Simply download your journal, track your activity, and submit it via a message on the Metropark’s Facebook page or in person to be entered into a drawing for a prize. Names are drawn every Monday….but hurry Winter Quest end February 28th. Website: https://metroparkstoledo.com/discover/special-events-and-programs/winter-quest/
- Feel like life with kids is a 3-ring circus? Why not make it official and sign them up for Circus Classes! Birds Eye View Circus is Toledo’s Premiere Circus School and Performance Space. They offer Trapeze, Silks, Lyra, Aerial, Tight Wire, etc. drop in or classes for youth and adults. Website: https://birdseyeviewcircus.com/
- Make it a family date at Ohio Skate! Why let the kids have all the fun? Skate rentals are reasonably priced to accommodate most budgets. For list of locations, prices, hours, etc. click on link to website: http://www.ohioskate.com/
- Spend the Day at Maumee Bay State Park! The Lodge offers Day Passes Sunday- Thursday (8am-10pm). Children 2 & under are FREE, Children 3 & Up and Adults are $12 + tax for the day. That means you have all access to the locker rooms, sauna, hot tub, pool, splash area, kids area, arcade space, & fireplaces. What’s more, if it snows you can sled down the big hill, and if we get 6 inches you can rent skis too…then go warm up by the fireplace with hot cocoa or take a dip in the hot tub. This is a great one for Sundays, family fun days!! Website: http://www.maumeebaystateparklodge.com/
- Ice ice baby! Take the kiddos to the only open air ice rink in northwest Ohio & southeast Michigan, at Ottawa Park!! General Admission is $4 (3 & under are free) Skate rental is $2. For directions, hours, etc. click on link to their website: http://www.ottawapark.org/outdoor-ice-rink-ottawa-park-toledo.html
- Say Cheese! Enjoy a Photo Scavenger Hunt at the Park(s)! Since the Parks uphold the motto of “Take only memories, leave nothing but footprints.”- Chief Seattle- a photo scavenger hunt is perfect! Put together a quick list of items to find, grab the camera, and have kiddos snap shots as you walk one of the trails. To add to the fun and adventure, challenge yourselves to visit a different park each week, print off the kiddos’ findings and let them put together a winter book with all their pictures.
- Prefer a more climate controlled park? One that is bright long after the sun goes down? Then head for the sky, Sky Zone! Half hour jump times are just $10, one hour is $15, for more pricing options and hours (Toddler Time: Fridays 10am-12pm, $8 per toddler, parents are FREE) click on website link….don’t forget your Sky Socks! Website: https://www.skyzone.com/toledo
- Swing sets indoors!?! Dreams do come true! Take the kiddos to Sylvania Playland where they can enjoy five inflatables, four swing sets, & a toddler area. Care to extend the fun? Play a game of glow-in-the-dark mini golf, 18 holes, with 4 awesome themes (underwater, pirates, dinosaurs, knights and dragons). For location, hours, and pricing click on the link to the website: http://www.sylvaniaplayland.com/
- There’s only one place your child can go to sail on a pirate ship, narrowly escape a monster shark, trek the jungle among gorillas and iguanas, weave his way through a dazzling maze, defy gravity, visit a neighboring kingdom’s castle, and then take a seat on his own castle’s throne – all in one day! Funigans!! Kiddos can bounce, slide, jump, and run around on their giant inflatables, play Lazer tag, and challenge one another in the arcade. For location, hours, pricing, etc. click on link to website: http://www.funagins.com/
Have a favorite activity that your kiddos enjoy during the winter time that didn’t make the list? Please share.