No Excuses: Play in the Cold!

Cynthia Dermody
Big Kid
boy sliding down slide in the snow

Photo by Kodeekins

A friend and I were talking about taking our children to a big playground once the weather warms up, but you know, why do we always wait for the weather to be nice to play outside? There are these things called coats ...

Nature Rocks is a nationwide program that wants to help make it easier for parents and children to get outside and explore nature, even in the dead of winter.

Children who spend time outdoors are happier, healthier and smarter, according to research.

Because the group knows how much we all make excuses to stay inside in winter, it's created a Winter Wonderland Activity Guide.

The guide has everything from 30-minute activities to full-day adventures, for people who live in both snowy and non-snowy areas. You can download the Guide here or go to the Nature Rocks website.
Here's a sampling:

Meals on the Fly

Help area birds make it through the winter by making simple bird feeders. Try rolling pine cones in peanut butter and sprinkling with birdseed. Or fill orange halves (minus the fruit) with birdseed and hang from tree branches.
The Three Little Twigs

Gather twigs from three (or more!) trees outdoors. You'll see that they can be shiny or hairy, thin or stout, with branches opposite or alternate, and so on. Pass them out to the kids in your group and go on a treasure hunt to see if they can find a tree that matches each twig.
Winter Safari

Sneak outside with a dozen or so of their stuffed animals and hide them in your yard-up in trees, inside shrubs, on top of logs, and so on. Now tell them it's time to go on a wild animal safari! They'll be surprised and delighted to find their beloved wild creatures in these unfamiliar places. 

In addition, you can go to the site and enter your Zip code or city and state in the "Find Nature" tool, and then press "go" to receive a listing of locations to go and enjoy nature, plus other information such as tour guide services and where to get gear if necessary.

Bundle up, and have fun!

Do you take your kids to parks and playgrounds in winter as often as you do in the summer?


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