Getting Outside… Brrrr!

Well, it seems that the wintry air is here.  There is snow (and patches of ice) on the ground and it’s the season of snow shoveling and keeping our landscaping from bowing down due to the weight of the fallen snow.  By now, you have no doubt already prepared to buffer the heating bill through added insulation, draft stoppers, lowering the thermostat during certain hours, and reducing your use of electricity overall.  I keep thinking, though, have we prepared our kids for the winter?  Are they ready and armed with the T.V. remote or mittens and hats?  Luckily, my children love to go outside on regular intervals, which I do support.  I also appreciate the warmth of my home so these outings are a bit tough on me, but I know how important it is to their well being.  There is plenty of evidence out there explaining the importance of getting our kids outside… just Google “children in nature” or take a look at the Children’s Health and Nature Fact Sheet at  It is well known that exposure to natural environments helps with reducing childhood obesity, developing healthy parent-child bonds, and mitigating the affects of attention disorders!  So that is all well and good when it is 70 degrees outside, right?  And when a good wet snow affords the opportunity for kids to build their own snowmen (and snowgirl), it makes it easy to send them out.   Besides, who doesn’t love a good hot cocoa after playing in the snow?  So on a quick search I did find a fun list of activities from the Children and Nature Network on winter activities to do with kids including books and extensions of the activites.  Here’s the quick list:

  • take a winter walk
  • go sledding
  • pond skating
  • make snow animals
  • play snow tag
  • do bark rubbings and tree sketches

So I hope that you layer a bit and get the kids out – we’ll be out there, too!


  1. Yes, absolutely! Going on the ice right now might be a bit risky as the temperatures are still fluctuating around the freezing point! All outdoor activities should be done with caution, but with enthusiasm as well. 🙂

  2. I could not agree more. Properly dressed and winter is a wonderful time to experience the out of doors. Unfortunately the unseasonably warm weather this year has kept us off the ice. The 2 weeks of single digits that generally occur in January is what is needed to properly freeze a good size body of water for skating. So wish for cold but always be cautious and look for signs of safe ice before skating on any natural body of water. My skates are ready and as soon as it is safe I will be out there.