6 activities to encourage your children to play outside during winter!

When the cold sets in, we tend to want to stay inside!  As parents, when winter comes around, we’d rather wait for the sun and the milder weather to come back then venture out with the kids. With some tricks and imagination, we can help children enjoy playing outdoors in all weather conditions.

We must, of course, be dressed comfortably for the different winter conditions. To enjoy the pleasures of winter, clothing is an asset. We recommend using several layers of clothing, good boots, without neglecting to keep the head warm!

Healthy living habits must continue throughout the year and at all ages. Playing outdoors in the snow is a great way to encourage our children to exercise and move regardless of the weather. Their creativity will surprise you!

Remember the recommendations to exercise 30 minutes a day for adults and 60 minutes a day for children. When children don’t move much, they can’t burn energy, which also tends to affect their sleep!  Also, during winter, the hours of sunshine are shorter, which affects the morale of the whole family!  The solution is to go out and store plenty of vitamin D and have fun together.

In winter, outdoors activities are more interesting; there is snow; it is slippery; it is cold, and we are wrapped up from head to toe. Just by walking in a foot of snow, climbing or descending a hill, pulling a sled, etc., children face many challenges that help them develop in different ways. They develop muscles, motricity, coordination and balance.

Here are six activities to inspire you to go play outside this winter.

1) Tic-Tac-Snow

A classic, of course, but why not! Using small branches and pine cones!

2) Treasure hunt in the snow

You must make ice cubes and colour them!  Then hide the ice cubes outside!  Have a great treasure hunt.

 

3) Snowshoeing

Snowshoeing is an inexpensive activity that is easy for children to learn. You can practice this activity in the mountains or simply in the woods!  This allows you to enjoy nature, silence and the fresh air while exercising. I suggest you start with an easy trail that is short enough to allow your children to get used to their snowshoes and sharpen their patience!

4) Soccer on snow

Children will have great fun playing a summer sport in winter!

5) Build a fort

If you are lucky enough to have a lot of snow, children will love building a fort. You can use molds to make the snow blocks!  And to enjoy the fort even more, make a good hot chocolate that can be savored inside your construction!

6) Playing hockey on an outdoor ice rink

My favorite, of course! I have so many memories playing hockey on ice rinks with my brothers in my youth. Children can skate, play hockey, meet friends; in short, the idea is to spend energy while having fun.

So, let’s adopt a positive and playful attitude towards winter this year. It is important to show the children that winter is all about playing outdoors; let’s put on our ski boots; let’s tie our skates; let’s slide; let’s make snowmen, and let’s simply watch snowflakes fall from the sky. Think about it for a moment: We all have magic memories of moments spent playing outside in the snow!  So, let’s give children a chance to create their own memories!And when you have spent the afternoon outside, it will be a great joy to spend time in front of a nice fire!

 

KIM ST.PIERRE

Regional Coordinator, Eastern Canada