With the winter season fast approaching, it’s time to think about your plans for getting outside when the going gets cold. For some of us, that wintry weather is already upon us! In Colorado, our weather varies greatly from one day to another, but don’t be fooled – more snow is on its way!
I know it’s a little more work to bundle up the kids during the winter season, but that’s no good reason to stay indoors for 3+ months. All the benefits of exercise, fresh air, and outdoor learning still apply now as they do in the summer! There is plenty to teach and learn about the weather, animals, and outdoor life in the upcoming months. And the best part? Coming back home to a warm house and some hot cocoa.
Now that the flu season is in full force, be smart about preparation. Dress in layers, cover their heads and hands, and check their fingers and nose often. So while winter may not be a fan favorite for parents looking to get the kids away from terrorizing the house, here are a few ideas about what to do this upcoming winter season!
Go snowshoeing. With little gear needed for the newbie, it’s a cheaper activity that is safer than skiing and still allows you to break a sweat. On a basic level, snowshoeing is just hiking in the snow. Check your local trails map for areas designated for snowshoeing. Rent snowshoes for the walking family members at REI or another outdoor store, and don’t forget the gators! Live in a warm weather area? Keep on hiking!
Head to the park. I can almost guarantee that playgrounds will be a lot less crowded in the next few months around here. If the slides are still wet then bundle up in their waterproof gear. Most playgrounds have an open area, perfect for playing hide and seek, tag, or just rolling around in the snow.
Sledding. We bought a cheap sled for under $10 and it not only supports their back, but my girls love it! We have it in the house until it gets cold (and snowy) enough to actually use it. My little one has all of her holiday stuffed animals hang out while she pulls them around the house, and my girls love being pulled around in the sled!! I can’t believe I’m writing this, but I can’t wait for some snow!
Walk around the holiday lights. Let the kids stay up (just a little) past their bedtime and head out to your local gardens, downtown, or brewery (gotta love Colorado!) for a fun night of drinking hot cocoa while walking around to see the different lit up sights! For easy fun closer to home, just take a walk or bike ride around your neighborhood to see who has the most lit up front yard!
Make ornaments with nature. Grab a pack of clear plastic ornaments (or glass if you have older, more careful kids than mine) and head outside to grab all the fun things nature has to offer! Twigs, leaves, maybe even a little dirt, whatever your child’s heart desires. But I’d leave the bugs outside. Pack it into each ornament with a smattering of glue and voila! Homemade nature ornaments, while keeping them busy for a couple hours.
Looking for new kid craft ideas this Christmas season? Check out this holidaze.
Check out the ice skating rink. There’s bound to be either an indoor or outdoor skating rink around you this winter, or a trusted frozen lake when it gets cold enough to fully freeze over. Even for kids who can’t quite skate on their own, they will love watching you fall while chomping on a warm chocolate chip cookie.
Go on a carriage ride. We are lucky to have a few places around town to visit Santa, which means more opportunities for carriage rides! We found a free ride by the nearby shopping mall, and while it was short they still had so much fun! We made sure to “thank” the horse after the ride, too.
Volunteer! Why not teach your children something valuable, while also spending time as a family? It can be making Christmas cards, helping out at a local salvation army, or something as simple as shoveling snow for an elderly or disabled neighbor. Start a tradition that embodies the true meaning of the giving season.
Whatever you decide to do this winter, make sure you all have fun. Enjoy your own special family time, make those memories that will last.