It always seems like the cold weather and I mean the really extreme -35 Celsius weather comes in full force without any warning. One day we are making snowforts outside in moderately chilly -1 Celcius temperatures . Then suddenly the next day it feels as though winter has not just come but it has brought a rage of cold. This cold, brings with it the real risk of frost bite and the true challenge of keeping children warm. There is a bright side and you can keep your sanity as a parent of toddlers. It is important to change your mindset and have some cold weather activities for kids.
If you are struggling with the cold and getting outside make sure you don’t let mommy (or daddy) guilt set in. Last year I wrote a post “No Longer an Outdoor Mom…” when the rage of cold came . If you are finding it hard read the post and know that you are not alone. The cold is hard.
Cold Weather Activities For Kids
Gearing up is your activity
Yes you might only go outside in the cold for 10-30 minutes. That means that putting on all that gear needs to become one of the activities for the day. It is a great time to work on fine motor skills like buttoning up jackets, putting on their own mitts and boots. If you treat dressing up in all the outdoor girl as an activity it helps to relieve some of the pressure that the outdoors is in fact the main event. That can be especially hard if you only manage to stay outside for 10 minutes in a worst case scenario. Learn more about dressing up your children in the posts “Gearing Up a Toddler for a Cold Winter” and “Dressing a Baby for Winter”.
Let’s be honest. it is hard to get outside in the extreme cold weather. Especially if they are under 3 years old. Not only is their sensitive skin is at a greater risk of frostbite if it is exposed but the 45 minutes to put on the gear can be infuriating.
But… It is so important to get out. There are many Benefits of Outdoor Play which means that getting outside even for a little bit is beneficial.
Plan a simple outdoor activity
When you head outside, plan to do something simple with your littles. It can be as simple as walking to pick up the mail, shovelling the sidewalk or more extravangant like spraying the snow with food coloured water. A little activity will give everyone something to take their mind off of extreme cold weather.
Pull them in a Sled
When it is cold outside we try our best to have the children moving to keep warm. Sometimes though, in the colder weather it is hard. They just don’t want to move. That happened to us when it was -28 Celcius. In that case we pulled them in a sled for 10 minutes before heading back inside. It helped everyone to feel refreshed.
Tea parties are a blast and stimulate some pretty hilarious conversations with toddlers. Enjoy decaffeinated herbal tea after playing outside to warm up or as an alternate activity if getting outside just feels too impossible. Expect some mess if you let them poor the water.
Cold weather means more baking. Let the littles help out even if it means that there will be more of a mess. A fun directed activity before going back to free play helps to break up the day.
Play Doh, Beads, Crafts
Winter is the time to bring out all those craft items. Since it is cold try to gear some of your activities around winter. We love making snowflakes out of play doh, making penguines and freezing toys in ice to excavate them.
What are your top tips for surviving the extreme cold weather?