Getting the Family Outside…In Winter

Sunshine and fresh air are needed both for you and your little’s mental and physical health. Getting outside in the winter is tough, but can be done. With proper winter wear, meaning warm winter coats, hats, mittens, scarves, snow pants, boots. When properly dressed the whole family can enjoy the outdoors, parents too!

In Your Own Yard:

  • Keep those backyard swing sets, jungle gyms, and playhouse clear so the tots can still access them.
  • Clear patios, decks or driveways so they can be safely used. We still are using ours for toddler basket ball and tennis even mid winter.
  • Use outdoor lights or decorative lights to allow for more play time in less daylight.
  • We kept all the balls and soccer nets up. Instead of playing soccer we play “snow ball”.
  • Toys that work for the beach also work great in snow. Create snow castles, use rakes, shovels, and those dump trucks of course.
  • If playing in the back yard is getting old or the dog needs to walk, we go on a “hunt” for cats, birds , squirrels. Whatever mom can make up on the fly. My son likes to have something to “find” or “look for”.

Outside of Home:

  • The obvious activities are sledding/tubbing. Don’t forget helmets!
  • Snow creations, snowmen, snow angles, building things from snow brings crafting to the out doors. Be cautious of snow forts, they can collapse.
  • Skiing
  • Cross country skiing
  • Snow shoeing
  • Ice fishing. Look at local reports and check ice depth before going out on a lake. Safety first, do research before you ever go on frozen bodies of water.
  • Ice skating. In my city outdoor rinks, ponds, and lakes are used by kids in the winter for skating and hockey. Again, safety first.
  • Hiking
  • Visit the local Zoo, most are open in winter months

If your not a big outdoors person in winter, it’s imperative to keep in mind the importance of outside time for kids, even tots and babes. Being outdoors is important for their health, growth and development. Guess what? The outdoors are important for parent’s health and mental wellbeing as well. So if you you’d like to avoid a bit of seasonal depression, go get a good pair of boots and a long coat…and get outside!

Some resources:

Click to access child-care-weather-watch-wi.pdf

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