When the weather turns frosty, it’s natural to want to curl up on the couch with a cozy blanket and a book or movie. But try to remember that it’s good to get outside even in the winter months. Fresh air and exercise are important for everyone, and children especially will benefit from some time outdoors and the small amount of vitamin D that the winter sun can give. Most children tend to sleep better at night if they spend some time outside during the day, and everyone can feel a little stir-crazy when they’re trapped indoors all the time.
So what can you do outside in the winter? Plenty! Of course, you should always check the weather before you go out. If there’s a wind chill or cold weather warning in effect, plan some fun indoor activities. Otherwise, bundle everyone up in hats, mitts, and snowsuits and head outside!
Grab your toboggans, saucer sleds, and crazy carpets! Sledding isn’t just for kids, so don’t miss out on the family fun. Nothing beats zooming down a hill and then rolling off your sled into a pile of snow – and the walk back up the hill is great exercise!
Build a Snowman
Or a snow family or a snow fort! Whether at the park or in your own yard, making snow sculptures is a great family activity. You can attempt to create likenesses of every member of the family, build an elaborate castle, or form a couple of walls on opposite ends of the yard and engage in a friendly snow fight!
Head Out on the Ice
Strap on your skates and take the family to the local outdoor skating rink or frozen pond. Most skating rinks have skates that you can rent if any family members don’t have their own pair. If you have a skating pond in your area, you can also bring along hockey sticks and a puck and get a game going! Always check the thickness of the ice first for safety.
Hit the Slopes
Skiing is a winter sport that can be enjoyed by all ages. Most ski hills will have lessons that are specifically geared for children. Skiing is certainly an activity that will cost a little more, but if it’s something that your family is interested in, it’s a great way to stay fit and have fun all winter long!
Go for a Winter Walk
Walking isn’t only fun in warm weather. A stroll around your neighborhood can be a nice winter family activity. Kids will like crunching in the snow and adults can enjoy the beauty of the season. If you have any walking trails nearby, these are especially fun in the winter! Some conservation areas will let you bring in bird seed to feed the chickadees and other winter birds while you hike.
Warm Up Afterwards
A mug of hot chocolate tastes even better when you come in from the cold – just one more reason to get outside with your family this winter!