Does the mere idea of winter make you panic as you envision your children, inside, bored, and screaming all day? The best way to fend off cabin fever is to make sure your kids have opportunities to enjoy plenty of outdoor winter fun. Here are five tips to help you prepare for your kids’ winter activities.
Check Out Community Resources
Although some winter pastimes, like skiing lessons, might not be affordable for every family, there are plenty of winter activity ideas suitable for any budget. Check out the winter activity offerings of your local park district. Some communities offer snowshoe expeditions, coordinate junior hockey leagues, and even teach ice skating classes. These classes and programs often fill up fast, so make sure you sign-up well in advance.
Make Your Own Winter Fun
If your kids are not interested in organized winter activities, there is plenty of fun to be had as a family. Gather your crew together and brainstorm a list of outdoor games, crafts, and projects that you would like to try. On a snowy day, the family could build snowmen, create snow angels, have snowball fights, or make a batch of snow ice cream. Even when there is no snow on the ground, you can still enjoy nature during the winter. Bird-watching and hiking are great for families with young children, if everyone has warm and comfortable winter clothing.
Get the Right Gear at the Right Price
No matter what winter activity your kids choose, they will need the right gear. If they are enrolled in a community activity or a member of a team, ask their coach or sponsor what they will need. You can save money and let your child explore more activities by purchasing second-hand gear or renting sports equipment while they are first trying out their new hobby. Buying your winter activity gear well in advance of the season can also help you score great bargains, since fewer buyers will be interested in those items in the spring and summer months.
Health and Dental Checkups Are Crucial
Make sure your children are ready for physically demanding winter sports and games by checking with their pediatrician and dentist. Your child’s healthcare providers can advise you about any possible risks or precautions that should be taken to offset those risks. For example, if your child has gotten braces from a Boise dentist, you might want to ask the dentist if your child should use a mouth-guard when they play hockey or go sledding. These are the types of preparations that take a bit of extra work now, but can save pain and expense later. Take the time to see your child’s dentist and doctor to get their professional guidance on your family’s winter plans.
Stay Winter Weather Smart
During the winter, a brisk day can quickly turn into a dangerous and brutal storm. Make sure you are prepared for any winter weather events before you and your children brave the elements. Check the forecast before leaving for an outdoor event as weather conditions can change rapidly during the winter months. You should also learn the signs of frostbite, so that you can act quickly if you notice your child or any of their playmates developing the signs. The National Weather Service provides important information on winter weather safety and preparedness that could save your life in an emergency. It’s important to prepare yourself with information on frostbite, hypothermia, and other winter weather topics.
With a little advanced planning, you and your family don’t have to turn into couch potatoes this winter. You can stay active, healthy, and safe during your kids’ winter activities and truly enjoy the best parts of the season.