As the weather turns colder in this part of the world, I’m feeling a little dread about the depths of winter in a small house with two little rambunctious kids and a bunch of pets. I love being outside in the winter, but when it takes 20 minutes to get two kids bundled into snowsuits and hats and mittens and then they want to be back inside in 10 minutes, cabin fever has to be pretty bad to get me to drag everybody outside.
Rebecca Plants, a blog and retail site that’s mostly focused on gardening and outdoor living, has a free download of “50 Outdoor Activities for Busy Families.” They are low- to no-cost activities you can enjoy with your kids. Now, these are billed as things you can do “any time of year.” Rebecca, sweetie, I don’t know where you live but where I live, we had no fewer than six inches of snow on the ground pretty much all last winter and temperatures rarely went above freezing during the day. Today, it’s 45 degrees (unseasonably chilly, but still). The picnic and the backyard campout is not happening (and are pretty much considered child abuse in the middle of winter).
That quibble aside, it’s a nice idea and a nice site, especially if you’re a gardener or would like to be. And while camping is pretty much out for those of us who actually experience winter, there are tons of nice ideas that would work for families that are not exactly intrepid outdoors people. Like “drink hot cocoa outside.” I’ve discovered the promise of cocoa gets my kids out the door better than anything else, so that one works.