38 top tips to get teens active outdoors

How do you get your kids — especially teens — active, playing sports and taking part in activities over the winter? They moan, they ignore us, they complain it’s “boring”. But once they get up and going, they have a whale of a time, and the health benefits are unignorable. 

We asked for your top tips and got ideas for novel activities, competitions that will whet their appetite and treats to keep them fueled up. At our #SpreadtheEnergy Twitter conversation, parents shared their tips, ideas and excitement about good healthy winter fun.

teen doing bike tricks

This conversation was sponsored by Sun-Pat, the nation’s number one peanut butter. Not only is it a delicious and nutritious snack to have on toast or in a smoothie, it provides the much-needed energy for after-school activity and is a natural source of protein.

SunPat #spreadtheenergy competitionSun-Pat’s new Spread the Energy campaign aims to get kids and teens out and active during the colder months. With support from Olympic champion Greg Rutherford, Sun-Pat is launching a national competition on its Facebook page, giving children’s sports teams the chance to win £1,000 vouchers towards kit and equipment and a year’s supply of delicious Sun-Pat. PLUS one lucky winner will get to meet the man himself, Greg Rutherford! Visit the Sun-Pat Facebook page to find out more.

Make the activity a competition

Encourage teens to go to gym with a buddy or make their own circuit in the garden to keep fit @JSO500

For wet days when you get the kids out, have a hula hoop competition @kiwi7001

Cross-country family runs get quite competitive! @edoody2001

We used to have handstand competitions in the garden @JadeBarni

A pedometer competition, winner with the most steps, encourages walking lots more than usual @pomander123

We have dance-offs in our house. Good fun except for the ‘dad dancing’ hehe @sarahmuoffive5

Bike trick competitions https://t.co/JG6cMNWGuG @sandy_hope

The kids do outdoor sports like football and hockey in winter so forever running around @bella165

hi-ropes course #spreadtheenergyIntroduce some novelty

Go to the local swing park. Your never to old I’m 48 I love the park https://t.co/z4FkAoo3vy @mummyoflove

Paintballing is my son’s favourite @welshbeauty99

Our Country Park as a great wooden “assault” course – great for older kids @angep1969

Enjoy the great outdoors even at this time of year! High ropes courses challenge us all https://t.co/MuoV6E0Fef @oceanrise1

An idea for teen sports in cold months: give everyone glow bracelets/necklaces as it gets dark. Makes it fun! @JHowze

Make bird feeders, head out to your local woods and hang them there @mariajkknight

watching ice skatingIndulge in classic family activities

A good long walk along our seaside track with our dog gets the blood flowing and burns off some energy @sarahmumoffive5

Den building is a family fave! https://t.co/DcV30DhQF5 @missielizzieb

Outdoor ice skating is brilliant to stay active (we could only watch last year though) https://t.co/H7P0LNzUhV @cazbeet

Run from one end of the park to the other, use a timer for the kids, ask them to beat their original time @cupcayke_lufc

A bike ride always burns the energy and warms them @Raindaisy5

In winter it is a lovely way to explore outside, watch the world go by, from your log boat! https://t.co/QNyCAO1K7Q @LondonBirdLucy

Get practical for outdoor fun

Get out walking – it’s all just about wearing the right clothes! https://t.co/ANuKUuMYNz @angep1969

Be prepared for the cold, layer up and you can get outside and do anything you want @JadeBarni

Keep fueled with peanut butter

peanut butter and blueberries on ryvitaWe chuck some in Tupperware and use it as a dip with breadsticks @angep1969

It’s fab on a Ryvita with fruit! It’s like our version of PBJ @LDChhesterfield

Blueberries and we’re all about the smooth when it comes to peanut butter https://t.co/tRL0EsadLP @LDChesterfield

Gluten-free peanut butter cookies made with Sun Pat and ground almonds! @catlovinkesh

We love a power smoothie! Frozen banana, tbsp peanut butter and nut milk https://t.co/3LXk0rIjhD @missielizzieb

My British twist is toasted crumpets with my peanut butter and a good dollop of strawberry jam. Quite indulgent @brook_so

Well @SunPatOfficial has that effect on me…lots of energy! @goriami

Have the smooth v crunchy debate

Under any circumstances, would you go smooth over crunchy? @SunPatOfficial

We are half and half in our house! Me & the hubby are Team #Smooth. Children are Team #Crunchy @SlLouise

Smooth for baking, crunchy for spreading! @Emily1983

Have a great recipe for crunchy peanut butter muffins. Shall add blueberries @gottobein

Smooth, crunchy, they all taste good. Man likes his food @daddysword

I always stood by crunchy, but then I tried smooth and it was a taste sensation! @Luckysammyg

Smooth great for cooking but if it’s a sandwich or to spread on apple or celery it has to crunch! @goriami

The last word

Refuse to give the wifi password till they’ve been for a walk? @EmilyK1983

Even grandparents like to act like kids https://t.co/XwhA9AZMrT @angep1969


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 This post is part of a sponsored BritMums project with Sun-Pat. All opinions and tweets featured in this post are the tweeters’ own.

Get more tips, advice and coping-with-teens stories in our monthly Teens & Tweens Round-up, featuring the best posts on the web about the teenage years.

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