5 ways to make playing outside more enjoyable this winter


(BPT) - Although it may seem normal to want to hunker down indoors when the temps start dropping, there's still a lot of fun to be had outdoors, even when it's snowy and a little chilly. The key to having a great time during the colder months of the year is to be prepared, so you and your family can make the most of all the great opportunities winter has to offer.

Here are some tips to make sure everyone has a blast outside this winter, whatever you choose to do.

1. Check the forecast

Before heading outdoors for an excursion or even just a little playtime, ensure that it's safe to do so by checking not just the temperature, but for windchill or icy conditions that might be unsafe. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, children can play outside even when it's really cold outside, as long as they come indoors occasionally to warm up, but you should keep an eye on the windchill. If the windchill is below zero degrees Fahrenheit, frostbite can occur in a matter of minutes.

As long as you dress everyone appropriately, you can enjoy outdoor fun throughout the winter.

2. Dress for warmth

To be able to play happily outdoors in winter weather, you'll want to make sure your child's hands, neck and head are well covered. Gloves or mittens work best when they're waterproof, and for little ones who enjoy rolling around in the snow, a snowsuit is your best bet. Staying active will also help you feel toasty, so make sure to keep moving!

Cold-weather comfort starts with your feet, and quality footwear is crucial to help keep your feet dry, safe and comfortable while you're outdoors. You should choose durable, quality boots designed for families from companies such as Kamik, a leading Canadian footwear company celebrating its 125th anniversary this year. Their durable boots are created to provide protection from the elements to help your entire family embrace being outdoors in any weather.

Even better, every Kamik product is made with sustainability in mind, making everyone in your family look good and feel protected, while also empowering you to feel good about your footwear choices. Kamik.com offers a wide selection of fall and winter boots for everyone in the family to choose from.

3. Let your imagination be your guide

Sometimes the simplest, tried-and-true activities like going sledding or making snow people or a snow fort in your yard are the most fun for kids of all ages. But you don’t have to stop there — you could create an outdoor scavenger hunt, make a target for a snowball throwing contest or bury a few prizes in your snowy backyard for kids to find.

And even though the days are shorter, you can stay out past sunset and brighten a winter night by enjoying s'mores and drinking hot cocoa or cider around a fire pit.

4. Encourage your child's interests

Use your child’s fascinations to develop activities that will make being outside even more fun. For example, if your child loves art, use household containers or molds to make ice sculptures using water and food coloring, freeze overnight, then decorate the yard with their creations. Budding scientist in your house? Blow bubbles outside in the cold to see how quickly they freeze, or gather snowflakes on a piece of black construction paper (first put paper in the freezer or outside) to examine each snowflake’s unique beauty under a magnifying glass.

5. Play 'winter tourist' in your own hometown

Sometimes you need to be a tourist to find the best events and adventures in a new area, so why not pretend you're a visitor and search for winter activities right where you live? You may discover all kinds of wonderful things to do not far from home that you didn't even know existed, from sleigh rides, nature walks and zoo events to ice carving or winter lights you can all visit together.

Don't let the cold weather hold you back from enjoying the outdoors this year. By embracing winter and with a good pair of boots on your feet, you can make lasting memories with your family all season long.