We came into the winter with one goal, to get outside more, try new things and teach a winter-apprehensive three-year-old, that yes, you can enjoy winter – because usually, she feels this way about the colder weather:
We were inspired by Nature Valley and the fact that more than ever, our children are losing their connection with nature. During the summer, it’s easy. The kids spend all of their waking hours outside, quickly running inside for a sandwich or a snack to take on the go, or have a picnic. During the winter though, all of this changes, and getting outside for more than a few minutes takes a lot of coaxing (especially with that one laying on the ice up there).
How We are Embracing Winter
We got the kids outfitted and made sure that mittens were waterproof, warm and for the case of a three year old (up to the elbow). For older kids that resist things like snowpants, this took a bit of coaxing, but got us all staying outside, longer.
We got ourselves outfitted. Making sure that we were warm and we actually wanted to spend time outside was just as important as getting the kids outfitted for the winter months.
We are trying new things. This winter, we’ve tried snowshoeing for the first time. We spent a weekend outside during Jasper in January, the kids tried (and shockingly didn’t like) Cabane a Sucre and we’ve tobogganed down a few new hills (when we had enough snow to do it). We got out for winter walks, and spent those sunny days on a reprieve from the warm weather, as it’s been pretty mild around here. We’ve explored an ice castle, a flying canoe festival and have consumed countless mugs of chocolate to stay warm and cozy from the inside out.
We got out the sand toys, and spent time in the backyard. I have to credit this idea to Jamie, as he noticed how much Violet enjoyed playing with buckets and shovels with the snow, so we brought them out – and the kids spent more time outside, playing in the backyard.
Make it fun. Try new things like having a fire in the backyard to roast marshmallows and have hot chocolate with friends. It’s a great way to take some of that fun that usually happens during the summer, and make it winter-friendly. We have a fun campfire, after-dark date planned with friends for the weekend to do all of these things, and have stocked up on mittens and glow sticks to encourage the kids to come outside.
Use this Park Finder from Nature Valley to get inspired for yourself, to get outside, and make sure that the kids (and you) maintain their connection to nature.
We’ve started small, but we’ve come a long way with this winter. In small doses, one winter walk at a time, we’ve created the foundation for the kids to adore the winter months (and learned something about loving winter ourselves, along the way).