Being a kid is all about being active – and with snow comes plenty of possibilities for fun activities, so there is no reason your child should sit passive in front of the fireplace all winter.
The winter can be a tough time for parents and children with CP – icy conditions reduce mobility, and it might seem easier just to stay inside, and get cozy in front of the fire. But it’s important to get out into the fresh air.
Physical activity is good for the whole family, and the joys of movement and mental stimulation are important to maintain even in the dark mid-winter. Through participation in play, games or activity, kids learn to associate movement and mental stimulation with a sense of joy.
Plus, snow has a magical effect on children, and with it comes plenty of possibilities for fun. With that in mind, here’s our pick of five top winter activities for children with CP and parents alike.
5 fun outdoor winter activities
Note: not all children with Cerebral Palsy will be able to manage each of these activities. Our goal is to provide suggestions for low-barrier activities for children with Cerebral Palsy that we hope many parents can build from, adjust or implement today.
Tailor the activities to each child. Strike a balance between ambition and capability – and remember to have fun.
1) The Home Winter Olympics
Start by making Olympic medals. It’s easy: just cut out some paper medals and loop some string. Then gather the family around the breakfast table and come up with the Winter Olympic Games.
Game suggestions include:
- Sledding: Who’s the fastest? The most stylish?
- Skiing sprint: Make teams of two to if you are many players, to easier include everyone in the game.
- Make snow angels: Lie in the snow and raise arms up and down to make angels. Don’t forget to take photographs.
- Snowball pyramids: Make as many snowballs as you can. By the end, you’ll have cold hands and a sculpture to admire.
2) Snowball Fight
Just as it sounds. Make balls of snow and… throw them at each other! The classic. Just remember to make sure they are not too icy and that they don’t have any pebbles in them.
3) Build a Snowman
This can easily be turned into a competitive sport. Take one snowman (or snowwoman) each. Who can make the most creative one? And who will be the judge? Don’t forget to add a carrot for the nose!
4) Ice Skating
Children with CP will probably need to be assisted, and perhaps the parents themselves, but even getting onto an ice skating rink carries a feeling of joy and freedom.