Like it or loathe it, there is no denying that the weather has turned as wintry winds and soggy skies cover our beloved country. Cold winter weather is dreaded by parents across the country, as they battle with the elements to ferry their offspring back and forth to school, yet we want to challenge this perception and help you to find the beauty and benefit of the great outdoors whatever the weather.
Nice Ice Baby
It would be a feat to find any parent who hasn’t listened to ‘Let It Go’ on repeat over the past three years, and Disney has certainly inspired children the world over find the magic in ice. If you’re little ones haven’t already dragged you to the nearest outdoor ice rink to re-enact their favourite Disney On Ice scenes, then make this a priority this winter. There are hundreds of child friendly open air ice rinks up and down the country where children and adults alike can indulge their imaginations, just remember that multiple gloves and extra padding on bottoms is a must for first timers!
If your children are animal mad, then specialised centres such as activity farms are a great way to engage them in the outdoor family fun. These farms are designed to encourage children to explore, learn and play outside as they experience the fun of the farm in any weather. With organised activities, such as animal feeding, grooming, trails and tractor rides galore, children learn a great deal about the world around them without even realising it, and parents can relax knowing that their little ones have had some fun in the fresh air.
There is nothing more beautiful than a deep frost first thing in the morning, so this weekend switch off the screens and set out for an adventure. Unstructured outdoor play is crucial to child development, so let them run free to marvel at the clouds of breath that hang in the air on a crisp morning and feel the crunch of frozen grass and leaves beneath their feet. Keep little eyes on the look-out for sparkly spider webs hung in trees and for a real treat find frozen puddles so you can experience the satisfying crack of ice sheets underfoot.
It is commonly thought that cold weather causes illness, but this is not always the case. As long as you and your family are wrapped up warm and remain active, and have no existing health conditions, getting out of towns and cities to breathe in some fresh air can be a key part of keeping healthy this winter. A bracing walk around a castle, a visit to a local farm or a Gruffalo hunt in the woods are fun outdoor activities that all the family can enjoy, and as fresh air can help aid sleep, you can look forward to a breezy bedtime too.