family fun

Winter Activities: 7 Fun Ideas for Outdoor Winter Play

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It can be incredibly tempting to keep the kids indoors all winter long because it takes more work and clothing for them to be able to play outside, it takes more tolerance of cold if one wants to play with them, and it seems like there are fewer options for outside activities.

7 Fun Winter Activities for Outdoor Play!

That being said, it is still important, perhaps even more so during this time of year, for kids to get Vitamin D exposure and the kind of exercise they can only get from being out in more open spaces. According to research quoted by @Balmeras, kids who play outside:

  • Become fitter and leaner
  • Develop stronger immune systems
  • Watch less TV and have more active imaginations
  • Have lower stress levels
  • Play more creatively
  • Have greater respect for themselves and others

So what can they do? At a loss for ideas? We've suggested a few things in previous posts, like geocaching and dirtbiking. Many more were suggested at a MomItForward Twitter Girls' Night Out (#gno) party in January sponsored by @SanbornCamps. Here are a few of the best:

7 Tips for Outdoor Winter Fun

  1. Have a Norwegian Waffle picnic. ActiveKidsClub.com, says @SlowFamily, has a recipe and more winter fun ideas.
  2. Have them make and navigate an obstacle course. Obstacle courses build important gross motor skills, develop muscles, develop coordination, help motor planning, increase endurance, and increase confidence, says @ImaginationSoup, who provides these recommendations for supplies, etc.
  3. Make rain art, with drops of food coloring on paper plates and rain or snow. Check out NatureRocks for instructions and more ideas, says @Balmeras.
  4. Build fairy houses. Says @Kaboom, "It has a touch of magic and imagination too."
  5. Make ice gardens like these done by @SanbornCamps.
  6. Join a Family Nature Club, sponsored by the Children and Nature Network. @Danishaw has one.
  7. Play the real-life version of Tron Deadly Discs, which is dodgeball with frisbees, says @DavidAndrew1987.

Ultimately, it comes down to attitude and attire. @PlayCrane says: "Ive always heard there's no bad weather. Only bad clothing." I have to agree, as I sit here writing this post, outside, warmed by my coat and the heat of my laptop, while my son enjoys riding his bike around.

What are some of your favorite outdoor activities?

Photo courtesy of Flickr.

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