Getting Outside in the Winter Months

Embrace the cold season with our guide. Discover outdoor activities and the right gear for family winter adventures. Happy exploring!

Cold season is upon us! While it might be tempting to keep the little ones inside during the chilly season, there is no time like the present to get out and enjoy all the things the great outdoors has to give. You may need a little more planning and preparation, but this journal is here to help inspire you with activities to get your family enjoying all that nature has to offer. Get your wellies on! 

First, you will need the right kit!

Before you start thinking about what to get up to in the great outdoors, having the right attire to get stuck in is an absolute must, for both adults and children. We love a fleecy waterproof all-in-one here at Eeny Meeny, and there are many options to go for here. Children might like a thinner layer that focuses on waterproof protection only, then layering up underneath with a coat and fleece, or they might prefer an all-body coat. Some children may also prefer to go with a waterproof coat and trousers with built-in suspenders. Make sure you have hats and gloves, and wellies are also a real must for puddle jumping! Make sure to kit yourself out, too - nothing is worse than a group of keen children with an adult who is freezing! 

You’ll also want an easy way to store drinks and snacks on the go, especially if you want them to be kept warm. Nobodinoz has a lovely collection of bottle and food warmer bags which will work a treat.

Explore hibernation 

Now you are dressed and ready to go, it’s time to get out there and explore…what exactly? Aside from the wintery magic of nature itself, it’s time to learn a little about hibernation! Read up on the process with your little ones - we love Slow Down by Rachel Williams and Freya Hartas, which features lots of hibernation-focused short stories covering different creatures. You could also research videos online, or child-friendly documentaries (there are plenty available to stream online on Disney + and Apple TV). Get out and search for abandoned bird nests, mole holes, and more. Just make sure not to wake any little friends! You could also learn about which animals won’t be hibernating in the Winter, and search for them - bugs and mini beasts are great examples here. Looking at the changing habitats of Winter is a wonderful way to explore the cyclical process of nature throughout the year, reminding children that we all benefit from slowing down and resting.

Observe snow and ice 

Another go-to for Winter is observing the magical weather gifts of snow and ice! If you get snow this year, make sure to practice snow angels, snow families and making snow pies on your mud kitchen (or just with pots and pans). Collect snow in cups and leave them outdoors, exploring what happens to the snow once the weather warms up again. 

Outside of snow, you might like to make the most of the cold weather by freezing water onto a tuff spot and exploring what happens when left overnight. You might then like to have a go at ice painting - simply add watercolour paints or food colouring and observe what happens when these are added to your natural ice canvas. 

Feel like going further afield? Visit local water areas and see if anywhere has frozen over, or simply look out for frozen puddles and icicles on trees. Talk to your children about what might happen to any fish or frogs who usually use natural water areas, and where any birds that usually swim there might have gone to. This is another great way to learn about hibernation and life cycles.

Go bird watching

While some birds may have travelled further afield, you are likely to find plenty of feathered friends around still in Wintertime. Why not do your research about which birds you are likely to spot locally, and go on a bird search, binoculars in hand? Little ones could even take their sketchbooks and create some simple drawings of the birds they spot. Your children might also particularly enjoy making a ‘pizza’ for the birds with this fabulous kit from The Den Kit Company.

Happy exploring!

We hope these ideas inspire you to continue exploring the great outdoors in all seasons. Happy exploring!

Emily Hanson

Freelance Writer, Education and Play Specialist

Emily Hanson is a freelance writer with specialisms in education and play. Emily holds a PGCE and M.Ed from the University of Cambridge - although her proudest achievements are her two beautiful daughters.

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