When cold weather hits my first thought is to stay inside and hibernate. Unfortunately, children don’t have that tendency. The more they are cooped up, the crazier they act. The only way to fight the winter crazies is to burn off all of that energy!
We are really lucky to live where there are plenty of outdoor activities in the winter time. My daughter loves to stay busy and I love to watch her experience new things, so I signed her up for a few lessons this winter. I’m a teacher, so my first instinct is to sign up for a class whenever possible. But, that doesn’t mean that you couldn’t teach your own child these activities. Also, if you have an older child who already knows how to ski or skate, lessons might not fit your needs. A family outing to the rink, park, or mountain could be your answer to the winter blues.
We started off the winter with ice skating lessons. It was a huge success. My daughter is four and had never been on the ice before, so her first lesson started with her literally trying to stand up on the ice. It was hilarious and adorable all rolled in one. What was so amazing about it was that, by the end of the lesson, all of the kids were up on the ice and skating! She loved it and was excited to return to practice every week. Now that she knows how to skate, we can hit up the local pond and ice rinks to skate together. Chances are that you have a local rink, too. Ask around! If nothing more, it is worth it for an afternoon of fun!
Next up was skiing! I learned to downhill ski as a kid around the age of four, so I decided this was the year to sign the kiddo up as well. We leased her skis (for free!) in October. Seriously. One of our local shops leases to kids (5 and under) for free for the season. When they are older there is a lease fee. But, the cost is way better than having to buy new boots, skis, and bindings every year because kids grow out of them all so quickly. She needed most of the winter gear for everyday use (hat, gloves, jacket, and snow pants). We just needed to add on goggles and a helmet. It has been awesome to watch her learn how to navigate the mountain and I look forward to being able to ski with her once she graduates to a chair lift.
We started out with the plastic skis that you attach to snow boots (amzn.to/1X9rzDq) last winter. I highly recommend them for hours of outdoor fun in the yard or at a park. If you’re not into downhill, cross-country skiing is a great workout. Snowshoeing is also a fun way to spend an afternoon. Just playing in the snow and getting some fresh air can do wonders for a little body (and big bodies, too)!
Sometimes it is just too darn cold to go outside, though. You can still burn off energy while staying inside! My daughter loves nothing more than a good dance party on an inclement day. I can also recommend an indoor obstacle course for frigid days. As a more low-key option, my daughter enjoys doing yoga side-by-side with me. It is a fun bonding experience and we both finish more relaxed than when we started.
I hope this information helps you through what is hopefully the end of winter. I’m dreaming of spring, thrilled that the groundhog did not see his shadow!