It’s that time of year where we love to get snuggly, keep warm and hibernate! But that feels so much more rewarding when you’ve had time out and about on a winter’s day. (Especially after an over indulgent Christmas!)
All the latest research tells us to be outdoors as much as possible with oodles of benefits to both our physical health and mental wellbeing. The days are shorter in Winter, so it is especially important to load up with vitamin D but there’s tonnes you can pack in, especially with a little one.
Here’s our top 5 tips for nature-based activities you can do in Winter!
1. Go on a nature search
Animals and insects are hibernating now, but you can still find evidence of where they might be cosying on down or maybe venturing out at night-time when we’re not around. On the ground there’s still masses of autumn leaves, look out for leaves with bright green spots or patches. There are hidden secrets in there! Delight in knowing those spotty leaves are home to hibernating little insects.
The brightly coloured patches are chlorophyll where insects have buried between the top and bottom layer of the leaves. The chlorophyll is kept nourished by the insect’s waste and hence the vivid green colour – how cool is that?. Hunt out the bestest shaped little burrows! But always pop them back!
2. Make a nature journal
At Kidunk, we follow the countryside code including only leaving behind your footprints and leaving things as you find them. Try not to disturb wildlife and nature finds such as pinecones and pebbles should be carefully checked for bugs before bringing home.
BUT armed with a crayon and paper you can trace around interesting leaves, take bark rubbings. And draw what you find. Children love documenting their days out so try making a little scrap book which includes finds and nature patterns - it's even something you can revisit and continue as the season changes too!
3. Plan a mid-winter picnic!
There’s nothing more exciting than a picnic whatever the time of year. We love to take soups and warm drinks on a winter walk so when we do stop it’s for a refuel it’s for a warm up too.
Make the menu exciting with Forest Broths, Woodland Soups and Nature Stews. Of Course these might be just your regular leek and potato soup but kids love the magic of a story soup!
4. Icicle Hunting
We all know that there’s nothing that comes close to a muddy puddle? But maybe a frozen muddy puddle is a close second!?
Check the depth first and hold onto little hands, but let’s your little one crack, smash and crunch those icicle puddles!
If you’re lucky enough to find icicles spot the ones that look like unicorn horns, magic wants or candy sticks!
5. Make a Snow Angel
Fingers crossed we get snow this holiday and if we do, could there be anything more fun than making a snow angel. Have fun decorating your impressions afterwards with pebbles and twigs and old leaves for textured wings!
So what are you waiting for, layers up, grab your kidunk kit, your bobbly hat and cosy gloves – Winter was made for adventures!