13 THINGS TO DO ON A COLD DAY
What comes to your mind on hearing the word “winter”? Joys or hardships; celebrations or burdens; coziness or gloom? As with all of life, whether winter is a blessing or a curse depends on your perspective—and your power to manage that perspective.
The three key rules of enjoying winter are:
- Let your children set the example. Follow their lead to rediscover your own gift for finding fun and beauty in unexpected places.
- Follow the rules of good health—by taking steps to avoid catching a virus, but also by eating hearty and nutritious, and by taking precautions against chills and
- Escape the “kids have all the fun but I do all the work” trap. Make a family activity of hanging the Christmas lights, clearing the walk, or brushing off damp shoes.
Other activities you can enjoy with your family when the weather gets too cold to “just sit” outside (here in the Gulf Coast section of Texas, that starts at about 55 degrees Fahrenheit):
- Take a good brisk walk through your neighborhood.
- Play a “Winter Walk” guessing game: “How many roofs on this block will have icicles? How many houses will have holiday lights turned on? How low will the sun be after we get to the park and back?” Take turns inventing “how many, how much, how long” questions.
- Look for winter wildlife: species common to your area may include squirrels, cardinals, raccoons, chickadees, rabbits, ducks, or ravens. Bring binoculars to observe at closer range.
- If you’re short on snow, make a game of searching for patches of it—and for layers of frost. Best time to look is near sunrise; best places are in high spots (roofs, bridges, tree limbs) or on the north sides of buildings and large trees.
- Look for pictures in (and/or take pictures of) interesting frost and snow patterns. (Or patterns formed by fallen leaves, bare-tree silhouettes, etc.)
- See who can “breathe out” the biggest cloud.
- Make a bird feeder to attract winter wildlife to your yard. After putting the feeder up, keep a list of birds (and other animals) that visit it.
- Make your own holiday decorations. (One idea: instead of buying a ready-made garland, get some long strings and spend an afternoon adding beads.)
- Try some new-to-you recipes for hot dinners, desserts, or drinks. (Kids eat more of good food when they’ve helped make it!)
- Play a small-space active game like Twister® or Simon Says.
- Light the fireplace and gather ’round the hearth for telling stories, singing, and/or cooking something tasty over the fire.
- Play the classic memory game of “repeat a list and keep it growing.” (Example: “I’m hanging a red ball on the Christmas tree.” “I’m hanging a crystal icicle and a red ball on the Christmas tree.” “I’m hanging a gingerbread man, a crystal icicle, and a red ball on the Christmas tree.” …)
- Snuggle together under the biggest comforter or quilt in your home, and savor just resting a while with those closest to you!