While the summer months invigorate and enthuse us to get out and enjoy the most of the weather, in winter we often welcome a slower pace and the opportunity to relax in the company of our loved ones. The cooler temperatures and frequent showers can result in us all retreating to the comfort of our homes, but the outdoors can be equally as appealing when the temperatures turn. Below, we’ve shared some of our favourite winter activities which can be enjoyed as a family.
Children and adults alike can benefit from spending time in nature – in all of the seasons. A wintery woodland walk will give you all the chance to stretch your legs and breathe in the fresh and crisp air. Each season presents different scenery, and winter is one that is equally as beautiful as the vibrancy of spring and summer and the varying colours in autumn. As the trees are bare, and the cold air creates a unique stillness, it can become much easier to spot wildlife. Take along with you a winter wildlife identification sheet and see how many of the woodland residents you can spot.
Homemade Bird Feeder
Foster the inspiration from your woodland walk and do your bit for the wild birds this winter. As the temperatures drop, food can become in short supply. The birds require high-fat foods to maintain them during the cold spell and will appreciate a new bird-café to visit! To make a bird feeder, you’ll need a winter bird seed mix, softened lard, pinecones and string.
1. Thoroughly mix the lard and seeds – you might need to use your hands.
2. Tie a piece of string through the pinecone, so that it can be hung in your garden.
3. Cover the pinecone in the lard-seed mix, filling in all of the holes.
4. Put the pinecone in the fridge until the lard-seed mixture has set.
5. Hang out in your garden and watch the birds enjoy!
For children, winter is the best time of year to go stargazing. As the nights draw in much earlier, even the littlest in the family can stay up and admire the stunning constellations. With the East Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty on the doorstep of our independent pre-school, Devon, there are plenty of beautiful spots to watch the night’s display unfold. Before you head out, ensure the area you will be gazing from has minimal light pollution and that it isn’t on an evening when the moon is full. A timeless activity, stargazing can be educational too, teach them to identify The Plough and the stars of Gemini on your next trip!
Winter in the UK is often a time for hibernation. We hideaway indoors for cosy evenings next to roaring fires and under blankets. As you settle down for the evening to play a game, read a book or watch a film as a family, what’s better than indulging in some homemade treats? Find a recipe and discover a new family favourite. Children can help to read out the recipe, weigh the ingredients, mix and, of course, taste their creations! If your child is uninspired in the kitchen and you’re searching for fun and engaging ways to get them involved, take a look at our 8 Ways to Get Children into Cooking.
Put your electronic gadgets away and dust off your board games for some old-fashioned family fun! Whether it’s Monopoly, Connect Four, Guess Who? Or another classic, you’re in for an hour or two of laughter.
With a wealth of knowledge at their fingertips, it’s never been easier for children to learn about other countries and cultures. Although they may not be jumping aboard a plane and jet-setting to all corners of the globe just yet, they can have fun while learning about and embracing world cultures. Print out a world map and choose a county to study together. Look at the variations in language, climate, landscape, wildlife, food and drink, and clothing. You could have a go at learning some simple phrases, drawing the wildlife and sampling some of the food.
Equally as exciting as discovering different countries in the world is uncovering the history of where you live. Take a trip to your local museum to research the role your local town or village played throughout history. You could make a note of any interesting or important buildings and go and visit them on another day.
What are your favourite winter activities? Share them with us, and other parents via our social media channels!