As nearly everyone will tell you, it’s important to make sure you get some fresh air every now and then. This is still true in winter, when the air is perhaps a little too fresh for some. How do you motivate your kids (and yourself) to go outside when it’s cold and dismal? Here are a few ideas for everyone, whether you love or hate the great outdoors.
1. Visit a Christmas market
Winter means Christmas, and in a lot of places, that means Christmas markets! Not only are these great places to pick up unique gifts for your friends and loved ones; they also have a fun, festive community atmosphere. Many of them will have activities to keep little ones entertained, and nearly all of them have street food. If your kids spill their new favourite sauce down their fronts, don’t worry – after a scrub with a trusted detergent like Persil, complaints about staining will soon be a thing of the past.
2. Find a four-legged friend
There’s one family friend you know will always be mustard-keen to go outside, whatever the weather. That’s right: a dog! If you and your kids are animal lovers, and you don’t already have a dog, why not arrange to look after someone else’s for a few hours each week? It’s a great way to get some fresh air and make new friends, and if you’ve been thinking of getting a pet, this is an ideal opportunity to teach your kids about how to take care of animals. This could get messy, but there’s no need to worry as long as you’ve got a decent laundry detergent like Persil. Complaints? You’ll all be too tired for them.
3. Go foraging
If you love the outdoors all year round, foraging is another educational family activity. Some edible plants, like nettles, thrive all year around; others, like certain mushrooms, prefer the cold and wet. This activity works best with slightly older children with a keen eye who can spot if you’re picking the right things. You could prepare what you’ve gathered as a family back at home, and it’s a great opportunity to try making things you’d never have thought of before. Once you’ve taken care of mud and grass stains with Persil, complaints about the recipe are the only ones you’ll need to worry about.
4. Get your skates on
Of course, some activities are easier to do in winter than at any other time. Why not take your kids ice skating? As well as being a seasonal classic, it’s something you might not get to do all year around, so take the opportunity while you can. Lots of public heritage sites and larger shopping centres now host pop-up ice rinks during the winter months, so it’s easier than ever to access this exciting sport.
5. Stay in without staying in
Outdoors not really your thing? That doesn’t mean you have to be stuck at home. Why not head out as a family and enjoy some indoor entertainment? You could go to the cinema, go bowling, or visit a museum or art gallery. And even if you don’t feel up to doing that, you don’t have to miss out. Why not recreate the cinema experience by going DVD shopping with the kids, picking out a film together, and grabbing some popcorn and slush puppies to enjoy at home? Take your cue from the kids and find out how they’d like to recreate their favourite experiences.
There you have it: a few good reasons to go outside as a family, even if the weather’s grim. Whichever ones you choose, have fun!