20 Tips For Keeping Kids Active (and Off Their Screens) Over Winter Break

Written by: Erin Coleman,

B.S. - Nutritional Science, R.D., L.D.

Writer, The Fit Mother Project

Written by: Erin Coleman,

B.S. - Nutritional Science, R.D., L.D.

Writer, The Fit Mother Project

Winter Break

Winter break from school doesn't have to consist of video games, movies, too much screen time, and lounging around on the couch.

While it may seem difficult to keep the kids moving around during holiday breaks, being too sedentary is problematic for their well-being.

Find fun, encouraging ways to get your kids off of the couch this holiday season to maintain exceptional health, enjoy winter break, and avoid boredom.

Spend time together with your entire family, moving around, doing something fun, and making memories that last a lifetime!

These fun ideas will get your kids off of the couch and off their screens so you can all enjoy winter break and stay healthy!

Staying healthy during winter can be a challenge, especially during the holidays. These 4 tips will help!

20 Winter Break Ideas To Keep Kids Active and Off Their Screens

Set Screen Time Limits

Parents and kids alike need downtime, so some screen time is inevitable when the kids are out of school.

However, setting screen time limits is important — even during the holiday season.

While varying recommendations exist for screen time and children, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry recommends that children ages 2-5 limit non-educational screen time to 1 hour on weekdays and 3 hours on weekends.

Every family has different needs, so choose screen time limits that work best with your lifestyle.

Let the kids know what their limits are and encourage them to do something active before hopping back on their screens.

Go Rock Climbing

Something new to try this winter break is indoor rock climbing.

Find a place nearby that offers this fun activity, and bring your spouse, kids, and even your extended family or friends.

Rock climbing is an excellent calorie-burning activity that's fun for people of all ages.

You'll build strength and endurance while getting your blood pumping.

A 155-pound person can burn about 281-282 calories during 30 minutes of rock climbing.

Consider Hoverboarding

If you have areas of your home without carpet, your kids can hoverboard indoors to work on their balance and sit down less often.

Or encourage them to hoverboard in the garage, your driveway, or around the block to take breaks from screen time during the winter break.

Though a bit pricey, hoverboards make excellent holiday gifts!

Consider one as a way for your kids to be less sedentary this holiday season

Throw Axes

Axe throwing is a common new trend and something you might not have thought about trying — until now!

Find an axe-throwing venue near you and get your entire family involved in this fun activity.

If you don't have an indoor axe-throwing place nearby, consider purchasing a safe axe-throwing kit designed for kids.

Try Indoor Golf

What better way to stay active during the cold winter months than golfing indoors?

Look for indoor mini golfing venues, indoor driving ranges, or covered outdoor driving ranges to enjoy quality time together with your family and friends.

If you live in a warm-weather climate and it's a nice day, choose outdoor golfing instead.

And if you don't feel like leaving home, consider an indoor or outdoor home driving range set!


Recruit your kids to do volunteer work with you this holiday season to put their free time to good use!

Sign up to volunteer with your city, local church, school, or other places in the community.

Or simply grocery shop or run errands for families in need.

Tackle Home Improvement Projects

Take advantage of winter break by tackling home improvement projects with your entire family.

This might mean doing outdoor work in your yard, renovating part of your home, organizing, cleaning, or decorating your home this holiday season.

Have your kids help you put away the holiday decorations to spend quality time together and keep them away from video games.

Try Snow Sports

If you live in a cold-weather climate or you're visiting one during winter break, you can ski, sled, ice skate, snowshoe, or snowboard with your kids to burn extra calories, keep your bodies moving, and enjoy spending quality time together.

A 155-pound person expends 247 calories in 30 minutes while sledding, 246 calories cross-country skiing, 252 calories ice skating, 216 calories downhill skiing, and 288 calories in 30 minutes while snowshoeing.

So just because it's cold and snowy outside doesn't mean you and your family are stuck indoors.

Gather up your warm clothes and get some fresh air this winter break!

Plan and Make Holiday Meals

Recruit your kids to help you make healthy holiday meals this winter break!

Have them choose recipes, make shopping lists, go grocery shopping with you, and prepare nutritious meals for the rest of your family or friends!

The memories you'll make will last a lifetime, and the practical cooking skills they'll learn will benefit them now into adulthood.

Go on Family Walks

Go on walks together as a family during winter break to avoid being sedentary, spend time together, reduce stress, and get outdoors.

Walk to a park, go hiking on a path, or take your dog walking through your neighborhood to get the blood pumping.

If you have a lot of neighbors, go on a night walk after dark to admire all of the holiday lights that are still up!

Try a Backyard Skating Rink

If you live in a cold-weather climate and it's below freezing, what better way to get the kids outdoors than to create an outdoor skating or ice hockey rink?

Purchase a home ice hockey rink, fill it with water, watch it freeze, and get the kids outdoors with their ice skates.

You might also consider an indoor synthetic ice hockey rink if it's not quite cold enough for the ice to freeze.

Consider an Indoor Trampoline

Indoor trampolines are a fun way for kids to burn off energy during cold winter.

All that jumping will keep their blood pumping and their bodies moving.

Get a Multiple-Way Tug of War Game

If you have a group of kids at your home during winter break, consider getting a multiple-way tug-of-war game.

They can play indoors in a larger space or outside as a fun, unique way to stay active and off of their screens.

Play Table Tennis

Whether you already have table tennis or are considering getting this fun game as a holiday gift, your entire family will adore spending time together while keeping their bodies moving.

Try Indoor Active Adventures

There are so many fun ways to stay active with your kids during winter break.

Ask them which activities they'd like to try based on what's available nearby and their preferences.

They might choose indoor or outdoor rollerblading, indoor swimming, or jumping at a trampoline park.

Invite extended family or friends to join in on the fun!

Do a Family Fun Run

Plan a family fun run (or walk) during the winter break to get your bodies moving and have a blast.

Sign up for a fun run near you, dress up in holiday gear, and run in a group with the rest of your family or friends!

Choose Active Video Games

While active video games still require screen time, they offer a fun way for your kids to stay active without thinking they're exercising.

Active video games you might consider for your kids during winter break include Ring Fit Adventure, Knockout League, Just Dance, Beat Saber, and more.

Go Bowling

You can't go wrong when choosing bowling as a fun, active winter activity for your entire family.

It's relaxing, competitive, and an excellent way to keep your body moving during the cold winter months.

A 155-person burns about 108 calories in just 30 minutes while bowling.

Recruit your entire family, find a bowling alley nearby, and have fun making memories!

Head to the Arcades

While not technically a workout, taking your family to the arcades during winter break is better than them playing sedentary video games or watching television.

Find an arcade near you and watch your kids have a blast while keeping their bodies moving around.

Try an Indoor/Outdoor Tumble Track

If you have kids who love to do gymnastics and tumbling, consider an inflatable indoor/outdoor tumble track.

Your kids can do handstands, cartwheels, round-offs, front, back, and much more!

It's lightweight, easy to move around, and easy to pack up by simply deflating it.

Erin Coleman
B.S. - Nutritional Science, R.D., L.D.

Writer, The Fit Mother Project

Erin Coleman is a registered and licensed dietitian with over 15 years of freelance writing experience.

She graduated with her Bachelor of Science degree in nutritional science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and completed her dietetic internship at Viterbo University in La Crosse, Wisconsin.

Prior to beginning her career in medical content writing, Erin worked as Health Educator for the University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Internal Medicine.

Her published work appears on hundreds of health and fitness websites, and she’s currently working on publishing her first book! Erin is a wife, and a Mom to two beautiful children.

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