“Winter is coming” is the motto for the House of Stark, and the winter blues are on the way.
While the temperature dips to single digits, staying cozy is what’s on the mind. Curled up with your little ones watching classic Christmas films like A Christmas Story or decorating the tree are all great things to do when winter hits.
Even holiday food is cozy and comforting. There’s nothing quite like fresh-baked gingerbread cookies, or the smell of delicious pot roast floating through your home. Winter can be a time to relax, get close, and enjoy the more down-tempo side of family time.
All of winter is family time, including activity time. Social and engaging winter sports is an ingenious way to make all of winter count - from the warmth of the hearth to how much snow fell in the last blizzard.
The health benefits of winter sports can’t be understated. Lifestyle writer Harry Wilson writes that engaging in winter sports burns calories and boosts cardiovascular health, but also surprisingly improves balance and enhances overall mental and emotional well-being. We do need our Vitamin D year-round, afterall!
“We all feel slumberous during winters, all you want to do is tuck into your cozy bed and sleep all day. Why not try and fight this laziness and actually enjoy the cold snowy weather?” Wilson writes.
Social Benefits of Kids Sports
Health and emotional benefits to kids aside, winter sports offer a particularly special opportunity to socialize.
Having opportunities to engage in healthy activities with their friends - and to make new friends - gives children a sense of identity and comfort around people that will serve them for the rest of their lives.
A child’s social benefit can begin as soon as they start crawling and walking to their friends, so the opportunity to start getting your kids involved in winter sports is never too early.
The 10 Best Winter Sports for Kids
Are you ready to experience snowy winter wonderlands and watching your child see his breath for the first time?
The list we’ve put together is split between indoor and outdoor sports. Sometimes it’s just far too cold to be outside, and offering a range of options for your child will help keep the chilly winter months full of fun.
The most important part of winter sports is safety. And wearing the right clothing is absolutely necessary to ensure your child is comfortable and has fun out in the cold. And that doesn’t have to be boring with for staying warm.
1. Ice Skating for Kids
Ice skating is more than a winter sport. It’s a dance on the ice.
Children who are dancers tend to love ice skating. It’s a balance between athleticism and skill, and the joy of floating on the ice - and wait until you learn to go backwards! - is enjoyed by children and adults alike.
Ice skating is all about accessories, so a cozy hat is perfect for the chilly air of the skating rink. Additionally, instructors always suggest wearing gloves to protect the fingers - skates have real blades, and you don’t want a fallen child to have to visit the hospital because of a skate cut.
See the end of this article for a link to find an ice skating rink near you.
Indoor Winter Sports for Kids
Basketball season starts heating up in the winter, and there’s perhaps no better cardiovascular workout than this sport.
Kids of almost all ages can play basketball. Joseph Siegal, a basketball coach for over twenty years, wrote that youth leagues start accepting new players at ages four or five.
But, children can start playing around with basketballs by the age of two. Dribbling improves motor skills, and as a true team sport it develops a positive attitude toward teamwork and relationship-building no matter their age.
With a nice pair of leggings, your basketball princess can toss three pointers and slam dunk in comfort and style. They’ll make up for the mesh-neon frocks they usually make kids wear, we promise!
3. Indoor Soccer
If there’s one sport you can travel with, it’s soccer.
While the United States is obsessed with football and basketball, the world revolves around soccer. And, if you’re a jet setting parent who gives your child the gift of travel, knowing how to play soccer will connect them with children all over the world.
And after practice, wrap up your little guy in a thickly-padded and stylish parka to keep him warm between the gym and the car. Future champions can’t catch cold to win gold, afterall!
With the right cleats and an energetic spirit, you may be raising the world’s next soccer star. But, at least you’ll know your child is having fun in a sport that children the world over are playing.
4. Indoor Tennis
Tennis is a classic sport, and one that any kid can get into.
The racket satisfies a specific appeal to use a tool with their hands, something that any kid who loves to play with plastic swords will love. A small ball trains your child’s hand-eye coordination, and may spark a new lifelong passion.
Tennis is between two players, so the need for team colors is out the window. That means we’re in luck - your child can wear whatever they want!
Whether a tennis skirt is the right look, or just a fun and breathably loose t-shirt will do the trick, tennis is not only a fun sport - it’s a stylish one.
5. Indoor Hockey for Kids
Hockey for kids is a high-energy sport that builds endurance, hand-eye coordination, and teamwork. Many children who play hockey when they’re children continue on for years, often through high school.
With the right gear, any boy or girl can dive into hockey for their own chance at the Stanley Cup. What parents should focus on is what they are wearing underneath all their protective clothing.
Sweaters, athletic pants, and leggings are great accessories for extra warmth at the rink. With the exact amount of layering, your child should be able to move freely while staying cozy-warm. Hockey underclothing for children should be breathable, flexible, and durable to last through their latest slapshot.
Staying safe while playing hockey is a primary concern for any parent. That’s why, at the end of the article, check out what USA Hockey Magazine has to say to keep kids safe playing hockey.
Outdoor Winter Sports for Kids
For those perfect opportunities to brave the cold outdoors, there’s plenty of options.
6. Cross-Country Skiing for Kids
Cross-country skiing is an incredible way to see the splendid sceneries of wintery beauty with your family. It’s like hiking with skis on!
It’s also a great way to introduce your child to skiing later in life. It’s an easy sport to engage in - you just need the equipment and instruction on a few key motions and your little guy is on the way down the snow trail.
A solid winter jacket - with the right insulation and design for optimal flexibility - is essential to any snow-swept ski trip. Along with goggles and a sturdy set of winter gloves, your child can explore the beauty of winter’s icy charms safely and comfortably.
Find a list of cross-country ski trails near you at the end of this article.
7. Snow Tubing
It’s a classic pastime for wintry weekends. All you need is a hill, some snow, and determination to climb.
8. Snowshoeing for Kids
Another great winter sport for taking in the scenery.
Snowshoeing is incredible because it allows you to walk off the beaten path and into areas typically too deep to walk through. It’s also relatively easy to pick up - just strap on your snowshoes and get going.
Like snow tubing for kids, a best-dressed snowshoe-er has a thickly-insulated jacket, a great set of boots and a friend to share the journey with. As a parent the experience of seeing your child enjoy beautiful snowy scenes on their time is breathtaking. Winter snowshoe hikes - it sounds strange - might actually be a great way to connect with your child.
What should you wear when going sledding? What’s comfortable for when you go sledding? What will your kid like to wear while rolling around in the snow?
We find the answer in ourselves for this question, because sledding has been a part of winter activities for as long as there have been sleds. It’s an exhilarating winter activity that adds a special kind of energy to the cold winter months.
And, whether you sledded with your parents or not, the pictures of children wide-eyed from their first sail down the hill will be treasures you cherish in your photo albums and Instagram galleries for years to come.
And last, but not least…
10. Snowball fights.
And everything else you will enjoy with your child during winter.
At the end of the day, winter - just like any other season - is a great opportunity for so many things. It’s the perfect time to cozy up, suit up, and post up some of the best photos you’ll take all year.
Winter sports for kids - from snowball fights to indoor tennis, and everything else in between - is first and foremost about fun. Dressing your child for winter sports should reflect that belief.
Make sure they are comfortable - we all remember Ralphie’s brother Randy from A Christmas Story, right?
Then, ensure how you dress your child is safe for the conditions. Extreme winter cold takes extreme precautions to enjoy, so do it safely and comfortably.
After all is said and done, you’ll have golden memories with your child that will live on forever. Cheers from us at Catimini.
More Information on Winter Sports for Kids
- 7 Amazing Benefits of Winter Sports
- What is a Good Age for Children to Start Playing Basketball?
- Find an Ice Skating Rink Near You
- Protecting Kids From Things That Go Bump On The Ice: Safety in Hockey
- Find a Cross-Country Ski Trail Near You