With the sun setting earlier and dreary weather ahead during the winter months, your family may start feeling the effects of cabin fever pretty quickly. UnityPoint Health – Meriter gives some tips on how to get your family some extra fresh air, time outside and sunshine during the winter months. 

  1. Use the snowy conditions to your advantage! Have the kiddos help shovel after we get a couple inches of fluffy white snow, build a snowman or see who can make the best snow angel. These can make for a great snow day activity and can be done mid-day for maximum sunshine. 
  2. Get in the holiday spirit – go for a walk through your neighborhood or one of the many local parks that display holiday lights. This is an exciting walk for kiddos and will get them moving and some fresh air, if you’ve been cooped up on winter break all week! 
  3. Try ice skating. Maybe its new for everyone, and you’ll be amazed at how fast they learn, and go! And it will give a new perspective of the lake this summer.
  4. How about ice fishing. It can be a fun new skill for kids to spend the day learning, while going out in the sun and being out in nature. It helps to go with an experienced angler, and make sure those ice conditions are safe!
  5. Study snowflakes! If we’re set to get a light dusting, get the kids outside to catch snowflakes and study how each one is different. You can talk about how snowflakes are formed, how they are all similar but unique. A simple magnifying glass reveals details.
  6. Send them outside with a camera… maybe a disposable one – you can challenge them to take photos of different winter things, like snowflakes or plow trucks! Or just set them free and see what they capture and find interesting things outdoors in your yard, a local park or on a walk all over the neighborhood. A print or collage would be a fun follow-up.

While getting outside and exploring these adventures, it’s important to dress in layers to stay warm. Make sure to wear good socks, hats and gloves, and limit exposure to cold weather to about 30 minutes at a time. If the wind chill is in the negative temps, it might be best to skip outside time and try for a warmer day. 

*If your child is sick, it’s important to ensure they are distancing themselves from others during these activities. 

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