By the time winter starts, I’m already looking for ways to stave off cabin fever. With little ones in the house, finding ways to help them burn off extra energy on frosty days has at times been a challenge, especially when I’m trying to do so on a budget.
In light of all things chilly, here are three ways to beat the cold and have an active winter as a family.
1. Have Your Snow Fun Early
Is heading up to the mountains to enjoy the snow one of your family’s favourite winter activities? Then you know how expensive it can be. It can be even more so if one of those favourite activities is skiing. You may want to consider heading up early for cheaper tickets to some of the big resorts. For example, Selwyn Snowfields lift tickets for a half day are $57 for an adult and $31 for a child now through June 21. After that, they spike up to $75 for an adult and $42 for a child. Multiply the difference by every member of your family and you could save some serious money by going up early.
You can also go a little later. Prices return to their lower rates after August 31 through the rest of the season. This is generally true across all ski resorts, but check for specific dates and rates.
2. Burning off Energy Indoors
One of my favourite ways to help my kids burn off their energy when it’s too chilly to play outside for extended periods is to build an indoor obstacle course. Here are some of the obstacles we’ve built in the past:
- Tunnels– We actually have a kids’ tunnel that we got on clearance, but prior to this, we would drape a sheet over a tunnel of chairs lined up back to back with an aisle in between.
- Don’t touch the lava– Spread couch cushions all over the living room, and have them jump from one to another without letting any body parts touch the “lava” (which is to say, the carpet.)
- Relay race– You’ll need a bunch of balls, a spoon for each child, and a basket or bucket for each child plus one. In the one, put all of the balls. On the other end of the room, line up a bucket for each child. Then have them carry the balls from the first bucket to their own by balancing one at a time on the spoon. If they drop it, they have to go back to the beginning. When all the balls are gone, count who has the most in the bucket to determine the winner!
- Cone run– For this one you can use cones or really any toy. Line your items up with a little bit of space in between in the middle of the room. Have the children weave in and out from start to finish. You can time them if you wish, but just running the course is fun enough for most! Because they’re weaving in and out, it keeps them from going too fast inside the house.
3. Get Outdoors Anyways
It’s cold in winter, but no so much so that you can’t still go outdoors. Active pursuits like bike riding can still be done if you wait until midday when the sun warms everything up a bit. Just be sure to bundle everyone according to the weather!
What are your go-to ways to keep your family from going stir-crazy in the winter?