5 Tips To Get Outside With Your Kids in The Winter & Have Fun
Even though it’s pretty cold this time of year, there’s no reason why kids should be cooped up inside. Granted, the logistics of having the correct clothing and keeping them warm might cause a few issues, but, as long as they have several layers and a decent set of boots etc. You should be good to go.
Now, you may be wondering what ways you can get your kid outdoors this winter and with any luck this article will help!
1. Think About Winter Differently
The vast majority of adults don’t like the winter too much. Not only is it perceived to be harder to get around, the weather can sometimes be unpredictable and depending on the weather condition, treacherous.
All of that anxiety and stress often filters down to our kids, even if the weather conditions aren’t too bad. So, we need to think about winter differently so we can encourage our kids to get outside this winter.
Even though the way I described winter earlier is accurate. It is not unpredictable and treacherous all of the time. In fact, you can have winter days where the sun is shining bright and it is not too cold out.
For that reason, it is always a good idea to worry and be anxious at the right times and excited and adventurous when the weather isn’t that bad. For some reason, our emotions have lumped the winter days into one, where in reality there are a lot of good days when it is perfect to get out there, walk, hike, play etc.
2. Keep it Simple
A lot of people think that the process needs to be complicated, but, in reality, you just need to keep things simple. There really is no need to travel too far from your home. In fact, I would encourage you to stay close by just in case they need the toilet or you want to pop back for a little snack.
Fortunately or unfortunately, we haven’t had any snow this year, but building snowmen is the simplest form of play close to home. In fact, if you have a garden you don’t even need to leave your house.
Simply build a snowman in the back garden. Depending on how adventurous you guys are, you can always build snow forts or have a snowball fight if they have friends over.
You can also go sledding (make one out of spare cardboard you have at home). This will keep them entertained for hours.
Alternatively, if you need to clear pathways or snow/frost off vehicles, why not get your kids to help. Of course, this isn’t playing, but there’s no reason why you can’t get them involved and make it fun for them.
3. Try Something New
There are plenty of winter activities operating in your neighbourhood, village, town or city. Why not try something new and try cross-country skiing, hiking, ice-climbing or even ice-fishing. With the internet now at our fingertips, you are just a click away of finding some sort of winter activity locally.
One of our favourites is hiking. You don’t necessarily need to hike far, but ensure they are wrapped up warm, take a pack lunch and explore the great outdoors.
There must be so many places you haven’t taken them yet and places they haven’t seen? The great thing is, your kids will love it!
They like nothing better than being outside exploring. If you are lucky, you may even see some natural wildlife on your travels.
You could get them to take a picture of what they see and then look up that animal online. That way the hike was both fun and educational.
Depending on where you live, you could also try outdoor ice skating. There’s nothing better than spending the day slipping and sliding around together in true winter fun. Note: Get to these rinks quite early as they are generally only open for short periods of time and get busy very quickly (especially when school is off).
4. Make it Fun
We briefly touched on this before, but the idea is to make the outdoor activity as fun as possible. You could either have a race, or even a timed race to see who can reach a certain point the quickest.
Most kids will be so happy to have your undivided attention away from technology like TV’s and computer screens (so make the most of it).
You may or may not hate my next suggestion, but, as long as your kids have warm winter clothes on, why not let them have a roll around in the snow?
You don’t see this as often as we used to and I think it is the hassle of wiping the snow off and washing their clothes after their play session. However, if kids don’t have the worry of keeping their clothes sparkling clean they can have a ton of fun!
5. Explore Your Neighbourhood
We have mentioned hiking a few times in this article. However, one activity that often gets overlooked is simply going for a walk in your local neighbourhood together. You don’t necessarily need to take the same route each time.
Why not change the route and explore new different streets and pathways. Not only is this valuable time spent together out of the house. It is great for bonding and having a conversation in a safe space.
Oftentimes your kids will open up about problems they are having or need to get something off their chest. Use the walk as an excuse to find out things your kids weren’t motivated to say at home.
Take a walk through the neighborhood together. This is another way to keep it simple while venturing beyond your backyard. You can try new routes each time, looking for things you hadn't noticed before. Walking together is a great way to combine physical activity with family time, and studies show that kids are more likely to open up if they are engaged in another activity while talking.