Cold. Wind. Rain. Snow. Sleet.
Anyone living in Ohio knows all of the things listed above are bound to happen at some point during the year. Since it can’t always be “blue skies and sunshine,” we all need to look for more ways to be active, even when it means having to stay in the house. Here are some really simple (and free) resources to keep you busy when the weather doesn’t break our way.
Good 4 Growth
A group of leading health experts created a website with tips for creative play and healthy snacks. There’s even a real doctor blogging about living a healthier life.
The group developed this form with fun indoor activities when it’s too tough to get outside. The form, which you can see right here, has games for kids of all ages. Some games require a few small things around the house. Others, like Sharks and Minnows, only require imagination and hustle. Here are the rules straight from the Good 4 Growth website.
Before you start, set up a play area with visible boundaries (if outside use cones). Review how to play:
- Choose two children to be sharks and everyone else will be minnows.
- Sharks stand in the middle of the play area and say, “Fishy, fishy, come out and play.”
- Minnows slowly walk towards the sharks.
- At any time, sharks can yell, “Shark Attack!”
- Minnows must run to the opposite boundary line without being tagged to remain safe.
- If a minnow is tagged, he/she becomes a shark.
- The last 2 minnows remaining win the round and become sharks for the next round.
This organization created a database of games to keep any child or teen active. You can go their searchable library and look for indoor activities based on your specific interests. There are also games broken down by age; so, a teenager can do something totally different than a 5 or 3-year old. The best part: it’s totally free!
Here are the rules for one of the website’s most popular games: Up, Down, Stop, Go
Before You Start:
- Have players stand up either by their seats or spread around the room/play area.
- Demonstrate the appropriate actions for “up”, “down”, “stop”, or “go”.
- On “Up”, players should squat down.
- On “Down”, players should jump, or stretch up as high as they can.
- On “Stop”, players should move around the play area in a specific movement (such as walking, jogging, running, skipping, hopping, etc.) or, if players cannot move around the play area, they should run in place.
- On “Go”, players should freeze.
- Players not doing the correct movement can complete a task (such as jumping jacks, give the leader a high five, etc.) before returning to the game.
- Do a practice round first so that all players understand the commands and movements that go with them, and understand what to do if they get the movements mixed up.
How to Play:
- Call out the commands “up”, “down”, “stop”, or “go” one at a time.
- For the first few minutes, watch the group and stop when players do the wrong movement and prompt them to complete the designated task (jumping jacks, etc.)
- After the first few minutes, call out the commands without stopping for those who make a mistake. They can just quickly do the task and get back in the game.
Find Resources Online and Compete With Your Friends
There are hundreds of apps and websites that offer free tutorials on how to do certain exercises inside your house. Many of the exercises don’t require workout equipment. Some you can even do in a matter of minutes.
It’s also important to stay motivated. There are dozens of apps that allow you to track your progress and get in friendly competition with family, classmates and others. Some of these apps don’t cost a penny. Others are a few dollars. All make finding ways to stay fit more fun, even if going outside isn’t an option.
The weather isn’t always going to be perfect for going outside. That doesn’t have to stop you from getting your heart pumping. Make the most of your time indoors. Before you know it, the weather we’re waiting for will be back and better than ever.