Just because it’s winter, doesn’t mean our kids are no longer competitive.
For some families, winter is a time to spend bundled up around a fire, playing board games and singing kum-baya. For the kids in my family, it’s a time to get outside, conquer the snow, and engage in the oh-so-fun sports that only really exist during the colder months.
I would never tell you how to run your own family, but I will say that my kids love being active during winter. It’s really easy to stay inside with a good book, but its way more fun to get engaged in some winter sports.
Some important things to remember however, are to stay warm, and wear sunscreen. I know this may sound silly, but the sun is just as harmful during winter, perhaps even more so because the snow reflects light. Also, protect your kids’ lips with lip balm (Carmex is a personal favorite, because it doesn’t dry out like other chap-stick brands).
When it comes to winter sports, obviously there are a few options to choose from, so here are a few ways to determine which winter sports your child should try.
READ MORE: Six Surprising Facts About Youth Sports
Ice skating is great for kids who want to improve balance, especially if they normally engage in sports like dance or ballet. Make sure your children only skate on approved ice (rinks, or cordoned-off skating spaces).
Ice hockey is awesome for kids who are used to contact team sports, but just make sure your kids have all the proper gear and padding, and also make sure they are comfortable ice skating before putting a stick in their hands.
Sledding can be really fun, especially for kids who aren’t super competitive. If your child just wants a fun way to experience snow, sledding might be a good option. Just make sure they only use actual sleds, and are very careful about the grade of the hill they are sliding down, as there is a greater risk for injury with sledding. Also make sure the hill is covered in snow, not ice.
Skiing and snowboarding are great for kids who normally play single-person sports like track. They help improve balance and stamina, and hand-eye coordination. Make sure they have all the proper equipment in the right sizes, and ALWAYS make sure they wear a helmet and goggles. Lessons also never hurt, since there are a lot of tips and tricks to skiing and snowboarding that need to be learned practiced.
No matter what sport they decide on, it’s a good idea to encourage your kids to get outdoors during winter. Not only for their own health and well-being, but for the sanity of your family overall.