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This is a guest post by Jenny Wise from Special Home Educator

Oh the weather outside is frightful… and kids don’t find it so delightful!
Having to stay indoors when the winter weather is bad can leave a child feeling restless.  Without the freedom to go outside, run, and play, they may turn to binge watching television or playing video games until their hands cramp. However, doing so can be detrimental to their health.

● Kids who watch too much television are more likely to be overweight.
● Television and video games can encourage risky behaviors like drinking or drug use.
● Television and video games can also make children more aggressive.
● Seeing troubling images on television can cause anxiety in kids.
● Spending too much time in front of screens encourages isolationism.

This season, encourage your kids to step away from TV and video games and instead put some time into learning new skills or pursuing their interests online. The internet has various fun and educational online activities perfect for children who are stuck indoors. Here are some of our favorite ideas for you to try.

Exercise Videos

If your child is a bundle of energy that needs to be released, point them to fun, interactive exercise videos specifically made for kids to help! There are tons of options out there, all you need to do is figure out what kind of exercise you child may enjoy.

● Yoga
● Dancing
● Pilates
● Aerobics
● Strength Training
● Rhythmic gymnastics
Animal crawl exercises

Becoming interested in fitness throughout childhood is extremely important. It helps them create healthy habits that they take with them as they grow. It builds their self-esteem, prevents health issues, and even helps them do better in school.

Online Music Lessons
If your child loves music, now is the perfect time to get them interested in learning to play an instrument. The internet has a vast array of digital music lessons they can reference. At home they are able to pick and choose which songs they learn — if they get to try out their favorite tunes, they are more likely to stick to this new habit! Plus, saving money by taking online lessons makes it easier for you to invest in their instrument. Just be sure to pick one out that is appropriate for beginners. For instance, if they want to learn the saxophone, start out with a beginner’s alto model that they can use to learn the fundamentals. Once they have those down,
they will be better able to pick out which kind of saxophone they want from there (soprano, baritone, tenor, bass).

Drawing Tutorials
If your kid likes to doodle, online drawing tutorials can help them hone their craft. There are plenty of free online art classes for beginners up to the advanced. Arts are extremely important for child development. Some of the benefits include:

● Increased creativity
● More neural connections
● Builds fine motor skills
● Improved problem solving abilities
● Socializing is easier
● Teaches sharing and collaboration
● Taking lessons improves listening and retention skills
● Fosters a better understanding of the world
● Helps young kids learn to write

Staying indoors because of harsh winter weather can make kids feel restless. While their first instinct may be to turn on the television or video games, spending too much time in front of these screens can be detrimental to their well-being. Instead, encourage your children to pick up new skills this season online. Exercise videos release their pent up energy. Learning to play a new instrument is great for kids who love music. And if you child loves to draw, online tutorials can help him refine his talent. Whatever it is your kid loves to do, there is an online class that can help foster that interest.

Jenny Wise created Special Home Educator as a forum for sharing her adventures in homeschooling and connecting with other homeschooling families.