When it’s still early in the evening and your kids have tons of energy to spare, there are plenty of activities you can do to keep their minds stimulated and their muscles moving. These fun activities are made for locations where snow is present. A person of any age can participate and cross-generational participation is encouraged. Get your whole family together for some good times!
Snowshoe around your backyard or through trails of a nearby park. The route doesn’t have to have a beginning and end point. If it’s available, try just trekking around a golf course that’s closed for the winter or along a shoreline. Seeing a familiar landscape covered in snow and exercising in the winter is what snowshoeing is all about.
This is a low-impact activity, meaning the whole family – from the children to the grandparents – can get in on the fun. Just remember to dress warm, but have layers that you can take off as you warm up from the activity. You can even rent snowshoes at certain lodges and sports equipment suppliers on the cheap.
If you live off of a dirt road in a very rural location and you’ve never experienced the fun of tying a sled to the back of a car, this could be your year. There should be a good layer of compacted snow on the road, with little to no salt and you must have good tires and be responsible. You’ll be pulling children and adults behind a car after all.
To do this, just securely tie a rope to your trailer hitch that will leave at least a 15 or 20 ft. distance between the sledder and car. Then on a saucer sled, have the person simply hold the rope and you’re off! *Now, I don’t think I have to tell you to be smart here, obviously don’t do this after drinking and don’t accelerate faster than you feel comfortable with.* This can be done with a snowmobile as well.
Build an Igloo
Instead of building the regular snowman, take your snow-building skills to the next level and go for an igloo. Make this a week-long project that motivates your children to get outside daily. Igloos can be built using the same method as a snowman, by rolling up balls of snow the stacked to make walls. To complete the igloo, simply fill in the cracks with fresh snow. Make ceilings by incrementally adding more and more snow to the inner edges of the walls, gradually working up. Keep packing the snow on top of the igloo to reinforce the ceiling. This is where dad’s height it a big help in the project. Keep it going by building compartments and other rooms to your suite your child’s imagination.
This activity is incredibly easy to put together. The only supplies you need are food coloring, spray bottles, and cold water. The food coloring can be any color, but the minimum you should get are the three primary colors – yellow, blue and red. Just mix the food coloring with cold water (make sure it’s cold because warm water will melt your snow prematurely). Mix it in right in the spray bottle then go outside and pick an area with relatively untouched snow where your property won’t be damaged (although food coloring will likely not damage much) and paint away! Get your food coloring at any grocery store and your empty spray bottles in the home department. You could even use an old cleaning product spray bottle as long as the inside has been thoroughly washed.
Getting out in the winter isn’t that hard. There just needs to be a little bit of motivation and the pretense of an activity. While some aforementioned activities are better done in daylight, almost all can be done with a flashlight or other light source. And I encourage you to definitely go out snowshoeing, especially after a big dinner, like Thanksgiving.
Photo: (Balderhead dam) Ian Gladdon, (snowshoe) Christopher Porter, (sledding) William Boncher, (igloo) Derek Thomas, (paint) Nic Stage