(Amber’s Note: We’re excited to have SkylarKD from Painting Pink Pajamas with us today. She and her little one, C, live in New Brunswick, Canada and are experts when it comes to making the most of the snow. Enjoy these tips!)
I’ll admit it; I don’t like winter very much.
I could happily hibernate for much of the season, but my February-born little girl is finally embracing her birth month and has been having a lot of fun in the snow this year. So, I’m trying to give us some more active time outdoors. Here are my tips on making winter more enjoyable for those of us who aren’t snow bunnies!
My first tip for winter activities is: Dress warmly! I don’t just mean the kids, I mean the adults too; because if you’re cold, you’re going to get cranky. That means sweaters, jackets, hats, scarves, gloves/mittens, warm socks, boots, and legwarmers, long johns or snowpants. Buy good winter gear that is appropriate for your location. Where I live, we can have cold snaps where the temperature goes down to minus 30 or 40 degrees Celsius with the wind chill factor (that’s minus 22 to minus 40 degrees Fahrenheit), so warm winter gear is a must. I’ve had a good ski jacket for several years, and this winter I bought myself a pair of Columbia boots which have made a big difference to my outdoor enjoyment.
My second tip is: Be prepared! If you’re driving to your destination, throw extra mittens, hats and scarves in the car. It’s never a bad idea to have a change of clothes in the car, whatever the season – just in case! Bring a lightweight sled to tow toddlers, and shovels and buckets for digging in the snow. Bring snacks, or plan to make a stop for snacks (my gal loves hot chocolate after winter fun). And always put tissues in your pockets to wipe cold, runny noses! If you’re walking, fill your pockets or consider carrying a tote bag or small backpack.
Third: Try to see winter through your child’s eyes. Although I might complain about the cold, I love seeing my daughter run, laugh and giggle as she plays in the snow. She loves to skate (on her bobskates), ski (with her toddler skis), go sliding/tobogganing and just generally muck around in the snow. She has so much fun that it makes me have fun too!
Fourth: Accept invitations! Many of our fun winter times have been when we’ve joined friends, either simply for a walk, or a planned activity. Sliding/tobogganing is so much more fun with a group, and a winter hike and picnic with friends gives kids a glimpse into what nature looks like during this season (just remember to wear snowpants or bring a waterproof picnic blanket). Try silly games when you’re with friends: building forts, having a snowball fight, or mix it up and play snow Frisbee!
So that’s a bit of my advice. They’re all simple tips, but following them has made our winter more enjoyable this year. Have fun!