Got the wintertime blues? Yeh, well if you’re living in the northern hemisphere right now, you probably do. Although you may be keeping your kids inside quite a bit, I want to encourage you to get them outside when possible. No, I’m not suggesting you take them hiking in a snowstorm, but I am suggesting that you take advantage of some fresh air right out side your front door. There are tremendous benefits to going outdoors from vitamin D absorption, boosting your mood, energy balance, blood circulation, exercise, spiritual-lift and fun! So, bundle your kids up, get them off their electronic devices and push them outside. Here are a few sensory-fun activities that will be sure to make their time outside worthwhile:
1) Frozen bubbles. Take your regular bottle of bubbles and just blow! If it’s below freezing, they will freeze in mid air!
2) Collect pinecones. Dig them up or pick them up. Find different sizes, colors and sort them. Use them to build a little fort.
3) Nature walk. What do you see? Walk and talk or just walk and think. Kids love nature walks! Don’t have too much nature outside? That’s OK. Just go for a walk anyway. It does the body and the brain some good!
4) Heavy work. Push a wagon, sled or wheelbarrow. It’s great for kids who need “heavy work.” While they’re at it, maybe they can actually help you out by picking up sticks, pinecones, etc.
5) Build a birdhouse. You can do this inside, but then take your birdhouse outside and hang it up. Put some birdseed in it and watch the birds come to visit.
6) Play Simon Says. This is great indoors or outdoors. But why not, bundle up and take it outside? It will get muscles stretching and blood moving.
7) Take a walk under the full moon. There is nothing quite as lovely as a crisp winter night under the moon. If it’s not full, no worries. They moon won’t mindJ
8) Play tag. Let your kids run! In fact, run with them. Hide and seek is fun too, while outside.
9) Play catch. Get a frizbee, ball or tossing game and take it outside.
10) Build a snow man. No more said!
11) Roll down a hill. Got a hill? If not, go find one and roll down. Great for sensory integration and providing deep pressure throughout the body.
12) Drink hot chocolate. Sit and sip. Nothing like a cup of hot cocoa on a cold day.
I’m sure you can come up with some outdoor games or work of your own. Keep track on inside vs. outside time and make sure you and your kids are getting plenty of outdoor time this winter! Everyone will feel better.