Keeping children happy and healthy during the winter months is not always easy. The good news is that there is an accessible and inexpensive approach to combating some of the challenges faced during cold weather: Get Outdoors. Simple, right?
The outdoors is the most effective way to prepare your body and your children’s bodies to fight against germs and illnesses that especially like visiting us during the winter months.
There is a science that backs up the fact that being outdoors and connected to nature makes us emotionally and physically stronger people. Our hearts and minds need the outdoors to thrive and to stay healthy.
Winter is the time for comfort, for
good food and warmth, for the touch
of a friendly hand and for a talk beside
the fire: it is the time for home.
~ Edith Sitwell
This post is sponsored by Lil’ Critters. All opinions are 100% my own.
Snowflakes are one of nature’s most fragile things,
but just look what they can do when they stick together.
~ Vesta M. Kelly
The Best Way to Keep our Kids Happy & Healthy
We live in the Pacific Northwest, which is a very “outdoorsy” place to raise a family. Ironically the Pacific Northwest can be an extremely tough place to endure during those winter months.
So, you could say that I have thought a bit about the topic of Getting Your Kids Outdoors no matter the weather. I truly believe the outdoors is the answer to so many ailments facing our children in today’s world.
So how do we do it? How do we get our kids outside to keep them healthy? to keep them happy?
Here are a few tips from this Pacific Northwestern Mama:
- Embrace the Right Mindset: I love the outdoors. Yet, I have to work really hard to keep my mind committed to getting outdoors every day. So, have a mantra. Know why being outdoors is good for you and your family. View the outdoors as another living space in your home.
- Get the Proper Gear: Being comfortable outside is most of the battle, especially with kids. We’re all about layers in the Pacific Northwest. Invest in a high quality fleece, rain coat and winter shell. Don’t forget to bundle up those feet with cozy socks and warm winter weatherproof boots. Keeping feet dry and warm is key.
- Learn about the Outdoors: Keep the curiosity alive with outdoor magazines and books. We love simply visiting our local library’s life sciences section. We also have an affinity towards National Geographic Kids and Ranger Rick Jr. magazines. We also love the book Winter Trees by Carole Gerber.
- Visit an Educational Site: Visiting a zoo in the colder months can be eye opening. Why do the giraffes and elephants have to stay in their barns on colder days? How does the zoo help the animals whose bodies are meant to be in warmer climates? Study the animals who thrive in colder weather.
- Mark your Territory: Go on a hike in your neighborhood or back yard. Find a sit spot. Decorate a path way’s rocks and branches. We take a trail from our yard down to a stream. Along the way we decorated various rocks and trees with chalk and glitter to help guide us. The decoration also helps to add a bit of our character to the outdoor space.
- Make it Extra Fun with Imagination & Science: Go on a Thumbalina Walk or find a stream to go Dipping with a bucket. Explore snowflakes and their wonder. Check out these snowflakes under a microscope and watch your child’s wonder ignite!
- Nature Journal: Discover new things. When all the leaves fell from our alder trees, we discovered a robin’s nest. How wonderfully hidden the nest was during the summer months! What do we see that is different during these months than during the warm summer months? How does our journal shift moods? What observations do we make that we don’t during warm months.
- Photograph: The winter months are beautiful. We often forget that fact. Simply because plants are dying, the trees are bare and animals have migrated and hibernated doesn’t mean the beauty is not still all around us. I realized that I wasn’t taking nearly as many outdoor pictures as the skies turned gray. Then I began doing so and my eyes opened to details of the colder months that I had never seen before.
- Study the Adapters: Do you hear new and different bird songs? How will the animals adapt to the cold winter months? Where will they get their food? How will they stay warm?
- Help the Adapters: Just because robins stick around during the winter months doesn’t mean these “survivors” couldn’t use a bit of help from us human beings. Make an outdoor bird feeder. Place it within viewing of a window so your children can keep their eyes on the birds they’re helping over the months.
Getting children outside is a huge step in the direction of keeping them happy and healthy all year round but especially during the colder months. Eating well and making sure our children’s growing bodies have what they need to be strong is equally as important.
Thank you for reading!
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Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Church & Dwight via Glam Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Church & Dwight.