After the popularity of my post 10 Activities To Do With Your Kids In The Winter, I thought I would follow it up with some ideas for activities that you can still do outside with your kids during these colder months.
Hunt for the Gruffalo
Or the Gruffalo’s Child or the Stick Man. Why not have a look online for your nearest Forestry Commission site and check which ones have these trails? If you live in or near to Hampshire, Alice Holt has each of these characters to find. It is a great way of getting out and about and doing something as a family and as it is open all year round you can still enjoy this in the winter too.
Go Ape is a tree top adventure for adults and children. It involves zip wires, climbing, obstacles, Tarzan swings and all above the forest floor. This will also be found at a Forestry Commission site. Full training and safety harnesses are provided.
Jake is obsessed with trains so this is a pretty usual activity for us to do. We are lucky(?) enough to live quite close to the train line which has a bridge and is perfect for us to watch them go by from. If we wave hard enough we even get a toot! It really makes his day. Simple to do and completely free and it doesn’t matter if it is raining or shining… or snowing!
There are so many forests, woodland walks, country parks and beaches around that are completely free to visit across the UK. To make things a little more interesting you could print off a nature walk sheet from the internet and hunt for certain items/plants/animals and learn as you enjoy your winter walk. The RSPB have plenty of hints and tips over on their website.
With it now becoming dark earlier it is the perfect time to teach your children about the solar system. Younger children are usually in bed whilst it is still light during the summer months and may have never even seen the stars or the moon. You can use the BBC’s stargazing activity pack to help you identify the constellations, make fun rockets and learn about the solar system.
You could make up your own hunt or maybe get your kid’s to come up with one. If you wanted to give it a festive theme you could use Christmas chocolates asthe prize at the end or trick or treat sweets at Halloween. You can adapt each hunt to where you may be carrying it out or dependant on the weather. For example, if you were heading to the woods you could look to collect certain items, such as leaves, conkers, acorns, twigs, at the beach you could hunt for stones, shells, seaweed, driftwood, it would be completely up to you. Or you could even come up with a role play to act out and then head out to a woods or your back garden and have some family fun!
Will we get some? Won’t we?
It’s always something we long for over Christmas and if we are lucky enough to get a good snowfall this winter you can have plenty of fun. Making snowmen, sledging, snowball fights, Igloo making and snow angels. So much you can do with snow! Why not also try adding food colouring to water and painting pictures in the white stuff?
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Make a bird feeder
Winter is the time of year when birds can do with a little help with feeding. If you only want to get a little crafty you could make a simple wooden ledge and string it up on a tree for the birds to get to… Squirrels may get there first, mind! If you have great carpentry skills you could have a go at making a full stand or make a fat ball covered in seed. For details on what food you should be putting out just visit the RSPB website.
Oh, and don’t forget the bugs! They will need somewhere to shelter in the colder weather check out my post on making a bug house.
Splashing in muddy puddles
Take a leaf out of Peppa’s book (you know you love her!) and pop your wellies on and go looking for those amazing muddy puddles! It’s a great time of year to go splashing mad and not care. Then return home to dry off, warm off, sit next to the fire and drink your hot chocolate. Mmmmmm.
Local country parks often have events on all year round and will advertise these on their websites or social media pages. Keep an eye out early for any Christmas Grottoes. Our local country park is full of play areas, a farm, train, lake, slides, sandpits and dinosaur statues and so much more. They also regularly put up their big red tent and hold events inside, have face painting, clowns, stalls and birds of prey to admire. Halloween is a great time to visit too. The winter is also classed as out of season, meaning the prices are lower so get checking out what is local to you.
Do you have any more to add? What outdoor activities do you love to get up to in the winter?