Which Winter Sport Games are best for Your Child?

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While winter is dull, your children can still engage in various fun and exciting activities. Many children and adults alike tend to hibernate during the cold months which can take a toll on their health. Here are some winter sports games to keep your kids entertained and active outdoors. 

Cross Country Skiing 

In cross-country skiing, skiers depend on their motion to navigate through the snow-covered trail as opposed to ski lifts. This activity is among the numerous winter sports games that you can choose from for your children. In some regions, cross country skiing is used as a means of transportation.

This winter sport has evolved and is today likened to the original skiing from where different types of skiing emerged. Skiers shove themselves either by matching side to side or forward in a skating movement. They use their arms to thrust ski poles against the snow. 

·         2-3-Year-Old Kid

Kids can start learning cross country skiing from as early as 2 years. Some 3-year-old kids can attempt to ski on their skis. Often, children in this age group use short skis complete with a Nordic binding that harnesses on snow boots. The bindings prolong the lifespan of the ski boots and keep the kids warm. However, they restrict control. 

·         5 Year Old Kids

If your child is five years old and has been practicing regularly, chances are that they can use skis with a normal Nordic binding. While this allows more control, it’s worth noting that different children learn at different paces.

Parents can accelerate their children’s learning pace by being more involved. Are you looking for an adventurous albeit workout appropriate winter activity for your kids? If you do, you may want to try cross country skiing.  

Ice Skating

Ice skating is one of the winter sports games that are ideal for kids. It involves gliding over an ice surface with blades fixed at the bottom of ski boots, also known as skates. The popularity of this winter activity has given rise to other sports. These are speed skating, figure skating, and short track speed skating.

Figure skating involves the execution of different spins, jumps, and dance movements. Speed skating and short track skating, on the other hand, involve racing on ice skates.

Kids can start learning ice skating from the age of 3 years. However, they will need to be under yours or their instructor’s watch until they are between 5 and 6 years. By then they will have mastered the balance and coordination they need to perform complex skating movements.

One of the advantages of skating is that kids can either do it indoors or outdoors. Children should always wear skating approved gear such as a helmet, elbow and knee pads, and gloves for safety reasons. 

Dog Sledding

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Dog sledding is a fun and exciting winter sports game for kids. Various winter resorts in Switzerland offer dog sled tours and novice musher lessons for kids. In this activity, sled dogs pull a sled through the snow trail.

Dog sledding is ideal for both kids and adults. It’s designed to help you relax while marveling at the alluring scenery as friendly and beautiful dogs pull the sled. This activity also instills communication and leadership skills in children. 

Ice Fishing

In ice fishing, children identify a hole on an ice-cold body of water and use fish hooks, lines, or spears to catch fish. The kids can either fish in heated enclosures or the open. Ensure your kids understand fishing safety rules before they can embark on these exciting winter sports games. Here are some tips to enhance your kid’s safety when they go fishing.

·         Dress Appropriately

Teach your kids how to dress according to the weather. Apart from dressing in layers, kids should wear a fleece or wool hat covering the ears, warm mittens, thick wool socks, and a muffler or scarf to protect the face and neck. 

·         Assess Ice Density

Testing the thickness of ice is critical before releasing your kids to go ice fishing. Always ensure that the ice is approximately 4 inches thick. Further inform your kids to avoid culverts, bridges, or streams. This is because flowing water from these sources can weaken the ice. 

·         Apply Sunscreen

Sunscreen is important both during summer and winter. Remember, radiation from the ice and snow can cause sunburns. Make sure your kids apply sunscreen with broad-range protection against UVB and UVA rays. They should also have an appropriate pair of sunglasses. 

·         Be Conversant with the Signs of Hypothermia

Learn how to recognize the signs of hypothermia. Watch out for unresponsiveness or excessive shivering. If you notice these symptoms, be sure to keep them warm and seek immediate medical attention. 

Always ensure that your kids wear a pair of ice recovery claws and an individual flotation gadget. These come in handy in the event a child slips inside the water. 

Snowboarding and Skiing

Snowboarding and skiing are the most popular winter sports games. Until recently, kids could only ski rather than participate in snowboarding. As winter sports games evolved and became more popular, many parents are enrolling their kids for snowboarding lessons.

In skiing, kids glide through the snow using skis. Snowboarding involves plummeting down a snow-covered slope on a board that’s fixed on the rider’s feet. They use specially designed boots established on a firmly fixed binding.

Snowboarding was inspired by sledding, skateboarding, skiing, and surfing. Kids can start learning from as early as 3 years with adult supervision. Older children can perform freestyle skiing. 

Curling

Curling is one of the kid-friendly winter sports games your children will be excited to try. This sport is similar to shuffleboard, boules, and bowls. To participate in curling, kids will be divided into two teams, each consisting of four players.

Every team has eight stones and they take turns in driving shiny and heavy granite stones over an ice curling sheet inside a house. This game focuses on getting the highest score. The stones resting as close to the center of the house scores points.

The game comes to an end when the teams deplete all their stones. Curling is great for non-athletic kids who are interested in a great competition. Curling is often likened to chess because it’s also a mental game. Kids can start learning winter curling from 5 years of age. 

Snowshoeing

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Snowshoeing is an easy and cost-effective winter sports games for the entire family to have fun during winter. Non-athletic kids can enjoy this sport with ease.

Do you and your kids enjoy hiking during the summer? If you do, then snowshoeing is a good alternative during winter. Snowshoeing involves hiking on snow. Snowshoes are designed to ensure that hikers glide through the ice effortlessly. Further, they protect hikers from sinking in the snow.

If your kid is 3 years and can walk, they can participate in snowshoeing with an adult’s supervision. All they need are special gear such as proper winter clothing, poles to provide balance, and snowshoes. The children will enjoy the adventure-filled activity that is snowshoeing. 

Ice Biking

If your children are older, they will enjoy a chance to bike in snowy conditions. Today, many children learn how to ride bikes from an early age. If your kid can ride a bike, they can start ice biking training albeit under supervision.

Experts opine that studded bike tires are ideal when it comes to grasping the ice and snow. These should, however, be used under icy conditions only since controlling them on dry pavement can be an arduous task. 

Tubing

Tubing is an excellent method of getting cardio exercises. This winter activity utilizes gravity to take a rider down a snow-covered slope or hill. Older children can slide through steeper trails for more thrill and fun.

Kids enjoy sliding down and running to the top of the hill. Unlike ordinary sleds, tubes are lighter which makes them manageable. Inner tubes are also cost-effective as this makes tubing one of the cheapest and exciting winter sports games for your children. 

Ice Hockey

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Kids can start practicing their skating skills from the age of 3 years under adult supervision. They will be ready to start training for winter hockey once they have mastered skating basics.

Many winter camp resorts in Switzerland, such as the Les Elfes International Winter Camp offer novice hockey sessions for children aged 4 years and above. However, studies suggest that ice hockey is one of the main causes of winter sports games injuries among children. Parents can keep children safe with these tips.

  • Ensure that they wear well-fitting safety gear during practice or when playing
  • Buy specially designed foam-lined helmet for ice hockey. Avoid buying a second-hand helmet and replace worn out helmets immediately. Inspect the helmet’s chin straps regularly and ensure that it fits comfortably
  • Inspect the safety equipment and gear often to ensure they are in good condition
  • Players should wear a full face mask to safeguard their eyes and face and an appropriate mouth guard. 

Finally

Winter sports games are an ideal way to keep your children active and physically healthy during the cold season. What’s more, they come in handy to prevent boredom during the winter break. Regardless of the winter activities, your children are interested in trying, ensure they dress appropriately to stay warm and safe. 

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