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Keeping Your Family Fit Indoors During Winter

Dec. 5, 2012

WAUWATOSA, Wis. – Does the cold weather outside have you wanting to curl up on your couch and take a long winter’s nap?

According to Beverly Anderson, Executive Director of Ebenezer Child Care Centers with locations in Milwaukee, Mequon, Greenfield, Oak Creek, and Wauwatosa, “Just because it may be getting chilly outside doesn’t mean that you should make staying active any less of a priority for your family. Children from toddler age on up need to have at least 30 minutes of structured physical activity every day to help foster healthy development and to keep sedentary habits from taking hold.”

So how can you keeping everyone moving during the winter months? Here are some useful tips.

Dance the Night Away
A very easy way to get the family moving together is to simply turn on the radio or your child’s favorite CD and start dancing. Dancing can quickly get your heart rate up while you have lots of fun together. While you’re at it, you can also teach your child to hop, skip, spin, do jumping jacks, and march by playing a fun game of follow the leader to dance music!

Head to the Basement
If your basement is unfinished, it can be the perfect place for active indoor activities such as roller skating, riding scooters, throwing and rolling light-weight balls, jumping rope, and setting up obstacle courses. Use the open space to your advantage, and encourage your children to get active!

Play Games
It may seem like an oxymoron, but there are actually some video games out there that can help get your older children moving. The Wii Fit exercise board and Dance Party Revolution video games are both excellent examples of fun activities that encourage older kids to get up off of the couch. There are also other non-video games out there such as Twister, musical chairs, and tag that older children often enjoy participating in.

Utilize Community Resources
Take advantage of the Milwaukee County Parks system, and go sledding or ice skating outside. Or, if you want to stay indoors, consider skating at the Pettit Ice Center. This facility also has an indoor track you can walk or run on. Another fun indoor physical activity is hitting one of the many bowling alleys in Milwaukee for a game of bowling. Or, you could check to see if any of your local community centers, public schools, or area universities offer “open gym time” where families can shoot some hoops or simply run around and burn some energy. Community Recreation Programs, your local YMCA, and places like The Big Backyard also offer some wonderful activity options if you are willing to spend a little money.

Ebenezer Child Care Centers will be hosting a FREE Family Fun Night entitled, “Inside Winter Activities to Keep You Fit,” on Tuesday, December 11th, 4:30-6:30 p.m. at their Wauwatosa Center (inside the UnitedHealth Group office building) located at 10701 West Research Drive, Wauwatosa. When it’s winter, most of the time you just want to stay indoors and keep warm. But it’s important that you keep fit even during this cold season. Come to this Family Fun Night for ideas on inside winter activities you can do with your family. Activities will include exploring Ivory soap flakes in the sensory table, playing a beanbag toss, and having fun with hula-hoops. In addition to the activities, you will have the opportunity to enjoy dinner on us! Advance registration is required. Please call 414-643-5070 to register.

Ebenezer Child Care Centers is a not-for-profit, locally based agency committed to providing early childhood programs from the heart. The agency prides itself on being different from other child care providers in that it offers a home-like atmosphere; individualized, nurturing care; and a structured curriculum that is virtues-based for every child’s developmental stage.

Every Ebenezer Child Care Center focuses on all aspects of a child’s development: cognitive, physical, emotional, and social. In addition to providing quality care, the agency also offers a variety of free Family Fun Nights and other educational programming all aimed at helping parents.

The agency has locations in downtown Milwaukee, on Milwaukee’s southside, in Greenfield, Mequon, Oak Creek, and Wauwatosa. The agency’s main office is located at 1496 South 29th Street, Milwaukee. For more information, please call 414-643-5070 or visit the agency’s website at www.ebenezerchildcare.com.

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"Hidden Tosa" is a semi-regular feature where reporters Rory Linnane or Rachel Minske explore the closed down and closed off parts of Wauwatosa.

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