Winter to me is a metaphor for life. It’s all about perspective! Enjoying winter is absolutely a choice in our home! I am not a winter person! So, if you find yourself in the same boat as me, I want to invite you to embrace winter with a few fun activities to get you and your kiddos out and enjoying your days in the cold!
I am a mom of two girls ages three and one and half. Getting my girls outside became a passion of mine about a year ago. I scoured the internet for ideas, followed like minded moms on social media and got creative. Before I get into the activities I love I want to share a few helpful tips to get you outside and keep you outside.
Get outside tips-
If they are cold they are not going to last long. You do not need to spend a bundle on bundling your kids up. We shop our local outdoors stores and second hand shops at the end of the season for outerwear. We also did not invest in expensive base layers and wool. I see high value in high quality products, but we have found that a few layers including an inexpensive fleece do wonders for keeping kids warm. A warm pair of gloves and socks are super helpful.
Be prepared- I always keep extra layers in my winter bag in the car in case one of my girls gets drenched. I also keep an extra pair of socks and gloves in my pack for immediate changes.
Snacks, snacks, snacks- Keep easy to share and easy to eat snacks in your pack. It’s amazing what a snack shared can do for the mood of a fussy toddler.
Have a routine- When we get home from an adventure, my girls know where all of their layers go. They hang them up, or ask for help to do so. Because we have a routine they know what to expect and mama isn’t upset with a stripped off mess struen in the foer. When we are ready to leave the next time, everything is where we expect it to be and everything is dry!
Okay, now that we have gotten that stuff out of the way, let’s get to the activities that bring joy and delight all winter long.
Ice creations- This year we had several long stretches of below freezing days which made for the perfect opportunity to make ice creations.
Ice lanterns- Simply fill a balloon with water and food coloring if desired. Set it outside or in the freezer until the outer layer is frozen, drain out the water from the inside and add a tea light candle. We kept our ice luminaries outside for days.
Ice ornaments- This brought so much color to our yard and the trail this year. Another simple activity for littles- We found vessels in shapes that we liked and added berries, flower petals, pine cones, various fruits and seeds, then covered in water. Add a loop of string and let freeze. When you are ready to release the ice creation simply run under warm water and they will pop right out!
Ice sun catchers- If you are anything like us, you probably have pressed flowers in books all over your home. All we did for this fun activity was cover a plate with plastic wrap, place pressed flowers on top and freeze.
Ice marbles- These simple spheres offered many creative play opportunities for my girls. Another super simple one. We added food coloring and water to balloons and froze. When we peeled the balloon away stunning shades of teal, orange and yellow emerged.
Toys with multiple uses- Get creative when it comes to playing in the snow. We pulled out sand toys, trucks, play tools, play kitchen plates, bowls and cups. Their imaginations soared as we changed up the play options.
Snow treats to try- Growing up my mom would always make us snow ice cream by just adding sugar, vanilla and milk to fresh snow. A few other ideas we want to try are maple syrup treats, and snow cones.
Hiking prompts and hunts- While on the trail I try to keep the girls interested by keeping them engaged in what is going on around them. We love looking for animal tracks, forts made by other kids, collecting pine cones, acorn caps, sticks, and feathers, we observe birds and learn their calls. We also look for trails that have water and nature centers to offer variety and interest. When we need to mix things up a bit I often bring a printed out scavenger hunt on a clipboard.
If you were like me and winter just isn’t your jam, I hope that you will be able to glean at least one idea from this post. Happy hiking and enjoy the days you share with your most precious gifts… your family! I would love to connect with you more!
Please DM me and introduce yourself, share an activity you love or just say hi! Find me at @raising_up_wildflowers on instagram.