Walking in a Winter Wonderland!
“Winter” and “hiking” don’t often go together for some parents because hiking with kids (even in exceptional weather) can be a little scary. Well, fear not! Winter is a magical time of year in nature and with some common sense, the trails are just as navigable as they are in summer!
Learning to walk and navigate on snow safely and confidently are part of becoming physically literate and are important skills for life in colder climates (like Canada). Here are some tips to get going over the holidays:
Start by choosing a shorter, well-known path to you so you can test your gear (good shoes are key) and how your children do in an environment they are already comfortable with. Once you see that everyone is enjoying themselves, move into longer hikes.
Hiking in snow with smaller people like babies and toddlers requires a little more attention to check if they are too cold or too hot, so be sure to stop and do checks often. A base layer, followed by a heavier second layer and topped by a water/wind-proof layer is pretty standard for all. Kids who aren’t walking may need a fourth layer. And be sure to pack extras of socks, mitts and hats in your bag for everyone.
Make it fun for the kids so they will get more out of it and want to do it again. Build a snowman, have a snowball fight or play an impromptu game of tag.
Bring extra snacks to keep everyone going and have something fun ready for the car ride home.
Have fun out there!!!