The last weeks have been so hectic with the auction, the first flue and gift wrapping I hadn’t had so much time for my blog and being outdoors. Thanks to this long weekend I could spend some hours outside with my little explorer and it has really become crystal clear to me that opt outside is a way of life.
Being outdoors with kids during spring or summer is much easier, but don’t give up doing it in winter time! Here you can find some tips to enjoy outdoors with kids in winter time.
It will be different because days are so short and it’s more difficult to find enough time to be out with the kids during the week, but we try to catch up over the weekend staying out as much as possible to enjoy the daylight.
I have really seen a difference between my boy’s attitude if he stays at home the whole day or we manage to be outside a little: when we go back home, he is more relaxed and can play without being twitchy moving from a toy to the next in few minutes.
Tip 1. Try to do a short walk/bike tour everyday for example on the way to the kindergarten in the morning or back home in the afternoon. I usually pick him up from my parents’ house in the afternoon and do a 5-minute run to come back home. My little hurricane runs on his balance bike and I have to run after him 🙂 It’s not much but it’s far better than being stuck inside the whole time.
Tip 2. During the weekend opt to walk instead of driving by car: walking for a short distance in the cold can be reinvigorating and you will enjoy much more a cup of coffee or tea once arrived. You don’t need to be out in the wild: you can also have a walk in the city center and that’s 100% fine. We try to get out even if it is cloudy, maybe just shorten our walk.
Tip 3. Don’t be afraid of the cold: kids have fun at the playground anyway even if it is freezing. There are plenty of warm clothes and gear to use: cover him up and undress him as soon as you get inside, and that’s it! With a pair of gloves, a fleece hat, winter pants and water proof shoes you can spend some time out without any problem. You can find almost everywhere shops like Decathlon where you can buy affordable winter clothes for kids (keep in mind you get what you pay for: if it is very cheap, it can’t be top quality).
We recently bought a rainproof salopette and it’s great to be outside after it has rained: be only careful on the slide because your kid will run down at supersonic speed!
Tip 4. Keep it fun! We wanted to have a walk up in the hills near Piacenza some weeks ago but the wind was blowing us away. We managed to find a shelter to have a snack but our kid made very clear he was not enjoying at all even in the baby carrier. So we turned back to the car and enjoyed the landscape driving along the panoramic route.
Since I became a mum, I have learnt that sometime you just have to give up, change your mind and postpone. It’s not always easy as it sounds, but all parents know if their kids are overplaying or not.
Tip 5. Consider your daily routine. If your toddler is usually taking a nap early in the afternoon, you should exploit the morning. Or take time for yourself and do a tougher trail while he is sleeping at home with the grandparents as we did last Sunday.
Tip 6. Winter sport yes or no? If you love skiing, your kids will most probably wear a pair of ski as soon as they can walk. But there are plenty of other possibilities to explore during Christmas holiday and the whole winter: ice skating, hiking with snowshoes, taking a tour on a dog sled, relaxing in a warm outside thermal pool. Most of these activities are associated to the snow, but I won’t blame anybody who will choose to spend a week in a warmer location such as Canary Islands 🙂
You should just get used to spend time outdoors with kids enjoying the daylight and even the cold: then you can’t live without it.
I hope this tips can be useful for the #Explorerkids community and for all outdoor families. If you liked them, check out also 10 Tips for a Successful Hike with Kids.