Winter – a great season! The reason why so many children have a complicated relationship with this season is obvious. Rather than build a snowman, play snowballs or go sledding, they stay home with their smartphones, tablets and laptops. Parents are happy and children don’t feel bored. However, just because your children don’t play outdoors doesn’t mean they have a lower risk of catching cold and flu. Spending hours in front of the screen can cause much more serious diseases than running outdoors. If you’ve noticed that your child literally hates the wintertime, try out these tips.
1. Take baby steps
Whatever you do, you can’t encourage your children to spend some time outdoors during the winter season. They are not interested in building a snowman or skating. They can’t stand snow, and watching TV is the best activity for them. No pressure. Don’t try to make them fall in love with the winter activities at once. Take baby steps. Today ask your children to help you feed the birds – make it a habit. Tomorrow you may ask your little ones to help you build a snowman in your front yard. Or, ask them to take a short walk in the park to feed the animals that are very hungry and waiting for them. Your task is to find a reason to get your children out and into nature.
2. Do it together
It’s hard to have your children turning off the TV or putting down those video games when one of family members stays home and watches TV. Show your children that all of you love wintertime, and there are plenty of fun outdoor activities to enjoy. Set a good example and your children will definitely follow it.
3. Watch winter-themed movies and read winter-themed books
One of the easiest ways to make your kids fall in love with winter is to let the TV and books do their job. Once they see how other kids in the movie enjoy winter activities they will want to try them too. Reading winter-themed books before bedtime may also encourage your children to play outdoors in the morning.
4. Set up your Christmas tree outdoors
Yeah, it sounds crazy. I remember my grandma couldn’t get me outdoors during the winter season. I was a stubborn child so the above tips didn’t work for me. When I was 10, my grandma decided to set up a Christmas tree in the garden so I had to leave my cozy bedroom and beloved TV to see the tree. Not only did I spend a few hours in the garden playing around my Christmas tree, I did spend two hours decorating it. Since then, I love to set up two Christmas trees – in the house and in the front yard.
5. Learn about nature in winter
Just like many kids enjoy exploring nature in spring or fall, why not explore nature in winter? There are a lot of things to discover. When feeding birds, pay attention to the species that live in winter. If you live in a snowy region, search for animal tracks or play a scavenger hunt. Winter stargazing and winter journaling are also great ideas to consider. The winter sky is a bit different than the summer sky. Instead of watching TV, watch the stars. This may become your new family tradition.
6. Cute coats
When your children have super beautiful winter clothing, especially coats or boots, it’s a lot easier to get them outdoors. They don’t have to be expensive, they should be warm, comfortable and cute. The same goes for winter sports gear and equipment like skis, sleds, skates, snowboards etc. Allow your children to choose what they love. This way, they’ll want to use them each day.