by Emily Graham

Poor weather conditions can be a big damper on the overall mood when you have kids at home. The winter months can be especially hard. The shorter, colder days make it harder for them to get motivated as they sludge along in the middle of the school year. Being forced to stay indoors can be stifling both physically and mentally.

Left to their own devices, kids typically turn to, well, devices. That is, they immediately gravitate towards television or video games. However, there are dangers to letting your children spend too much time in front of the TV screen.  It leads to a sedentary lifestyle that leaves them at risk for becoming overweight or obese. The risky behaviors they see in television programs and video games encourages them to seek out these behaviors themselves. Finally, kids who spend too much time vegging out run the risk of anxiety, isolationism, and even depression.

If your kids are starting to feel restless when they are stuck indoors, keep them engaged and active with the help of the internet. Unlike television programs and your typical video games, you can find interactive lessons and activities online that keep your kids’ minds and bodies active. Here are some of our favorite ideas.

YouTube Exercise Videos

It may be too cold or snowy to go outside and play, but that doesn’t mean all your kid’s excess energy has to go to waste! YouTube is an excellent resource for finding fun instructional videos that keep the body moving. Some of these workouts are so fun, you may even want to join them. You can find general exercise videos that work the entire body, or engage your children with a new kind of exercise, like yoga, that keeps their growing muscles guessing.

Learn to Play an Instrument Online

If your child has dreams of joining band– or perhaps is already in it– take advantage of their free time this season to start taking online lessons for their instrument of choice. You can find kid specific videos and lesson plans that appeal to their special learning style. Of course, if you are going to start lessons, you’ll need a proper instrument. Take a little time to research the best option for your child. For instance, if they find themselves drawn to woodwind instruments, it’s a good idea to start them with a clarinet. Once they learn the basics on a clarinet, it’s easy for them to take on other reed instruments like the saxophone, oboe, or bassoon. Check out this clarinet buying guide to help you find the right instrument.

Online Drawing Tutorials

If your child loves to doodle, online drawing tutorials can help him refine his talent while inspiring his creativity. Learning the arts isn’t just fun for kids, it’s useful. It teaches them to be more perceptive regarding the world around them. It helps them do better at school and improves their problem solving capabilities. It also teaches them to express themselves and helps them to find power in their own vision and voice. However when it comes to art, sometimes kids need a little direction to get them going. Lack of structure can be inhibiting for creativity, believe it or not. That’s why online drawing tutorials are a perfect activity for those cold, rainy days.

The bad weather and shorter days of winter can make kids feel restless indoors. Instead of letting them veg out in front of the TV, encourage your kids to become engaged in fun online activities. If they need to burn off some energy, online exercise videos can help them stay active and help their growing bodies stay strong. Online music lessons are perfect for kids with musical talent and ambition. Finally, art tutorials and drawing lessons online can provide a little structure that helps your kids unleash their creativity and tap into the benefits of an arts education.

About the author:
Emily Graham is a teacher. She started mightymoms.net as a support site to moms from all walks of life, as she believes being a mom is one of the hardest jobs around.