Thursday, January 29, 2009

Winter Fun...

Colombia, Mud
My long underwear haven't got this much use since I lived in Colorado and skied for a living. Unfortunately, I no longer live in the mountains and when it snows I shovel.....

We haven't seen temperatures above freezing for far too long and a lot of parents are asking—what do we do with kids when it's cold outside?

Set aside some time, bundle up and get outside! (note: wear layers)

Stay warm with plenty of moving:
*sledding (and running back up the hill)
*set up an obstacle course and have races or activities like seeing who can jump the farthest in the snow.

If you have a quiet woods to walk through:
*observe and make note of the differences between summer and winter.
*which local animals are active during winter? follow tracks. can you find animal homes?
*if you're warm enough, consider hunkering down, listening to the sounds and sketching what you see and writing about the experience, i.e. what you see, smell, hear, touch etc.

Just outside your back door:
*make peanut butter and seed covered pine cone bird feeders and hang within viewing distance
*is there enough snow to make snow forts? or to tunnel under the snow?

Mix it up with outdoor activities at the local park district or places like the local botanic garden or zoo. A simple online search might keep you busy for weeks. Or partner up with other families that might have other ideas or places to visit.

Through it all, remember, while it may seem like a hassle (we're busy, the kids are comfy on the couch, it's tiring, etc) make the commitment. If we need time away from "the modern world," developing kids need it more! So, for stronger minds, stronger bodies and great sleep—get outside!

Don't try, do it,
Tim :)

P.S. I'll admit it—I need a new picture. This one is nearly a year ago, taken during a trip in a mud bath at the top of a volcano in Colombia last February...