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 education.com. 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!