During the chilly months you may be tempted to stay bundled up indoors but your kids may feel differently. Most of them have lots of extra energy to burn!
In order to make sure the kids don’t get bored, and so you can preserve a level of sanity (especially during winter vacation), check out the list we compiled of fun activities to do with your kids during the winter.
Worth pointing out is a list of supplies you should always have on hand while playing outside in the snow or on the ice.
Snacks. Hungry kids= cranky kids, even if your activity started out as a blast. Sunblock is a must as well. The sun’s rays are particularly potent as they reflect off the white snow. Though the weather may be frigid, keeping hydrated is crucial. Make sure to bring plenty of fluids on your outing.
If you’re lucky enough to live near a ski area, snow skiing is a natural choice for getting the kids out during the winter months.
Or how about considering a family ski trip if you aren’t close to the slopes? There are resorts that specifically cater to families, including kiddie trails.
Don’t overdo it with little ones. Try to gauge how they’re holding up. Try to avoid meltdowns by makings sure they don’t get to a point of exhaustion. There’s always tomorrow if you feel you’ve not gotten your fill of skiing for the day.
Walking around in over-sized, clunky tennis shoe thingies will be a novelty for your kiddos, and is sure to provoke a giggle or two.
As with any winter activity, make sure to dress the kids in layers. Once they get started, they’ll quickly warm up and you don’t want an overheated, uncomfortable kid.
Kids’ snowshoes come in one size with an adjustable boot. With snowshoes you wear your everyday shoe which fits into a binding to hold the foot in place. While you can wear sneakers, the best bet is to use a boot with a flexible ankle. Take a look at this beginners guide if you have never tried snowshoeing.
Just because you may feel intimidated to get out on the ice with wobbly ankles and lack of coordination, your kids aren’t likely to feel the same way. Kids have a lower center of gravity so a few falls on the ice are pretty harmless.
Kids generally tend to be less fearful than us adults who tend to overthink everything. In fact, they’re very likely to plunge ahead without much thought; and they’re will probably get a kick out of their inevitable collisions.
Even really little ones can enjoy ice skating. Ice skating training aids (or skate trainers) can be rented, or purchased online, for a reasonable price. Make sure your kids’ skates fit snugly and have good ankle support.
At one time snowboarding was for kids was discouraged, mainly because of unsubstantiated concerns about it affecting their physical development.
Today there is specific technology used in children’s snowboards. For one, the boards are shorter and oblong in shape, helping prevent frequent falls. Soft boots and simple bindings have also made the activity more comfortable and easier on parents who may have to help gear their kids up.
Kids are shorter, thus closer to the ground, so their wipe outs are less painful than how we adults experience them. Yes, they are less coordinated and balanced than we, but just like anything, they can learn and usually learn quickly! Before hitting the slopes for the first time, read this beginners guide.
One thing that is so great about tobogganing is it takes no skill whatsoever. Families can have a blast with this activity since several of you can cram onto one toboggan and take off down a slippery hill.
Your older kids will have a blast experimenting with what makes their toboggan go faster- lying down, sitting, one rider or more? In fact, if you are a nerdy type of parent (don’t all kids think their parents are nerds?), you may use the opportunity to give the kids a little lesson in physics.
It should go without saying that parents should take care to ensure your daredevils are choosing their location wisely (e.g. avoiding areas with trees near the landing area).
This is an activity you don’t see everyday and it may not be available in your area, but if you are lucky enough to have the opportunity, dog sledding is a real thrill for kids and adults alike.
Dog sleighs are pulled by one or more dogs over ice or snow. Some areas even offer this activity in the summer where the dogs pull a wagon.
For kids it’s not only the ride that excites, but the opportunity to interact with the dogs. Dog sledding originated with native people, where it was used for functional purposes such as hunting and travel. Kids will be interested in hearing how dogs helped people not only get food but travel during the harsh winters.
Why not take the kids on a festive horse-driven sleigh-ride? Like with dog sledding, kids will get a kick over interacting with the horses; and who doesn’t love the feeling sitting high up where you can see all of your surroundings?
Get cozy under warm, heavy blankets. Feel the thrill of cold air on your faces. With hot cocoa in hand, enjoy this old-fashioned ride while the horses do all the work. This is bound to be a favorite family memory for everyone.
With a little research in your area, or by splurging on a family winter vacation, you will be able to keep the kids entertained during the cold winter months.