6. Family time
Winter is truly a season to be enjoyed as a family. Take pictures of the snowmen you make together in the yard or at the park, of adventures at the local ice rink and of afternoons spent sledding. Film a short video with your smartphone and ask your child to narrate with the date and reason for the video. With positive images of the snowy season, your child will grow up liking winter. Thick hats and runny noses are perhaps less appealing than the healthy sun-kissed faces of summer, but photos make great memories to remind your child of all the fun he had doing these activities with you.
Kids can’t resist sliding down a snowy hill. Especially if you do it with them! The best thing about this activity is that you can do it no matter how old your child is: a very young child can be placed between your legs. A small slope is all you need to have fun. Sledding is also a great way to stay warm as you need to climb back up to the top every time!
8. Getting dressed
To survive the whole getting-your-child-dressed-for-the-cold ritual, why not turn it into a game? You can play at “who finishes first” or stick a sign in the entrance with drawings showing the order in which to put on hats, mittens, coats and boots. This reassures the child and helps him to become more independent. Setting aside more time in the mornings for dressing can also reduce stress for the entire family. That way, there’s no need to scream to hurry up. Using a little hourglass can also help your toddler see how much time he has to get ready.
Moving around outside promotes appetite, sleep, concentration and learning.
Children love building snow structures to play or hide in. If you make any kind of closed-off, igloo-type construction, however, you need to supervise your child at all times to ensure he stays safe. If an igloo collapses, the weight of the falling snow can suffocate a child. It’s also important to build any fort or igloo far away from the road and anywhere else the snowplough goes. To solidify the construction, you can spray it with a little water once you’re done. As the water freezes, it will glue everything in place. You can also keep your empty milk or juice containers to fill with water and then freeze. When you remove the packaging, you’ll have blocks of ice that will sparkle in the sun and make beautiful transparent “bricks” for the snowy walls.
Here are three ideas to add some spice to winter and motivate your child to set foot outside:
- Blow bubbles outside just like in the summer! With the cold air, the bubbles stay closer to the ground and freeze. Your little one can have fun popping them.
- Hold a precious stone treasure hunt. Mix food colouring with water in an ice-cube tray to make your own “precious stones”. Once they’re frozen, hide them outside and hold your own winter treasure hunt.
- Take the dolls and stuffed animals for a walk. Does your toddler refuse to go out and leave a favourite doll or stuffed animal behind? Suggest dressing them up warmly and bringing them along for a sleigh ride!
Source : magazine Naître et grandir, january-february 2017
Writing : Josée Bournival
Photos : iStock.com/Christopher Futcher (up) et iStock.com/Imgorthand (below)